BM 66 – ESU supports the Iranian student activist leader Bahareh Hedyat
Bahareh Hedyat is one of the most prominent students’ rights activist and women’s rights activist in Iran. She is also one of the many students’ activists who are imprisoned for their engagement and for expressing their opinion as students about their government.
On December 31 2009, Hedayat was arrested and incarcerated at the Teheran Evin prison on charges related to her student activism, one of them for delivering a message to the European Students’ Union and other organisations for the 70th anniversary of the International Day of Students, on 17 November 2009.
In 2011, the European Students’ Union nominated Bahareh for the Students’ Peace Prize, to make the hardship of Iranian students visible and establish a link between the Iranian and European students’ organisations. By raising ESU’s concerns on Bahareh’s case once again, ESU is voicing its support to Bahareh’s fight for students’ rights, that she continues to carry out even when incarcerated, as well as ESU’s support to the entire Iranian student movement.
It is a clear violation of Bahareh’s most fundamental human rights to incarcerate her for expressing her opinions and not providing her with the necessary treatment for serious health issues, due to chronic problems with her reproductive system. By renewing its support to Bahareh, ESU strongly condemns the Iranian government for silencing its students. Indeed, the UN rapporteur on human rights for Iran, Ahmad Shaheed, reported 24 students currently serving prison sentences for their student activism and more than 1000 students being expelled from higher education institutions from 2004 to 2012. ESU condemns the attitude of the Iranian government, holding Bahareh hostage and using her condemnation for political intentions, spreading fear to the rest of Iranian students that are active.
ESU supports the entire Iranian student movement that fights for its rights and the democracy of its country. ESU demands that Bahareh will be released immediately and her health conditions attended to.