A student holding a sign condemning repression at Iranian universities

Thousands Sign Petition Protesting Professor Expulsion in Iran

Saturday, 09/02/2023

A student-led campaign has garnered over 13,000 signatures in opposition to the expulsion of Professor Ali Sharifi Zarchi from Sharif University in Iran.

The petition, initiated by students and alumni of the university, has gained traction in response to the removal of Zarchi, a faculty member at the institution.

Organizers of the campaign argue that purging who are professors described as "knowledgeable and caring" from the academic community not only undermines the foundations of education but also discourages students, potentially leading them to seek educational opportunities abroad.

Zarchi had previously been summoned by security authorities during the country's period of civil unrest and had recently made reference to a document suggesting that the government, under President Ebrahim Raisi, had initiated the recruitment of 15,000 pro-regime faculty members for dozens of universities.

Furthermore, this incident is part of a wider trend where numerous professors have faced expulsion from Iranian universities due to their critical viewpoints and support for students and the general public in recent weeks and months. Reports of more professors facing similar fates continue to emerge regularly.

One of the latest cases of expulsion involves Somayyeh Sima, a faculty member in the Water Engineering Department at Tarbiat Modarres University.

Student union councils across the country have also reported the expulsion of Hamid Reza Nazarinejad, an associate professor in the Faculty of Law at Gilan University and a former president of the Gilan Bar Association.

In addition, student associations have reported the "prohibition from teaching" of Hassan Bagherinia, a faculty member in the Psychology and Educational Sciences Department at Hakim Sabzevari University, describing it as a "new method of suppression."

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