November 30th STATEMENT
Scholars in solidarity with the people of Iran
A United Statement written by the Iranian Scholars for Liberty and collaborators around the world
“Human beings are members of a whole,
in creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
other members uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
the name of human you cannot retain.”
“Woman, Life, Freedom”, “Jin, Jiyan, Azadî”, is the slogan that Iranians have been chanting in the past 75 days in response to the Islamic Republic Regime's fathomless violations of human rights. The slogan, in its essence, brings light to the systematic suppression of women's rights and all minority groups in Iran. The revolution currently taking place by the Iranian people began after the murder of Mahsa (Jina) Amini by the so-called morality police on September 16, 2022. Ever since, the Regime has brutally suppressed any peaceful demonstration and protest by the people, reciting its recognizable approach of the last 43 years. According to reports, more than 400 people, including 63 children, have been killed and more than 18,000 people have been arrested since the protests began. Furthermore, ethnic minorities, including the Kurdish and Baloch people have been subjected to increasing suppression at ruthless levels.
University students and pupils have joined the forefront of the revolution throughout the country by protesting, not attending classes, and writing statements to demand justice for political prisoners and victims. In return for their peaceful protests, the Regime’s security forces, specifically the Police, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Paramilitary Volunteer Militia (the Basij force), and the Plainclothes Police have raided campuses, dorms, and high schools, and have assaulted and arrested a vast number of students. Many students have been either suspended from education or have been denied entrance to campuses until further notice. Several professors and instructors have also been dismissed or suspended due to their political stance in support of the students.
As we are releasing this statement, many students and academics are being assaulted, detained, abducted, and held in unknown locations. Some of those detainees are being subjected to brutal interrogations, coerced confessions, torture, and rape and some are facing wrongful convictions, particularly death penalties issued by the Regime’s courts. The imminent risk to students’ lives and safety in Iran is extremely dire that requires immediate action and attention from all who have the freedom of speech.
We, the authors and signers of this statement, call on the academic community to raise their voice in solidarity with Iranians. Universities and academia have had a significant role throughout history in the fight against tyrannical regimes across the globe. Movements such as Greensboro in 1960, France in 1968, and UC Berkeley in 1985 give prominence to the power and impact of a united scholarly voice. The unity of the academic voice and leveraging our platform to promote democratic values will influence the world’s interactions with Iran and will advance the world toward peace and equality.
To this end, we demand the following from academia and governments:
To issue an official statement condemning and demanding an end to the assault on the academic community in Iran.
To boycott Iranian university officials and academics who have actively facilitated and are facilitating the Regime’s attacks on Iranian students and scholars; this includes preventing their participation at international events and conferences, their collaboration to scientific discourse and publications, and their presence at academic institutions.
To provide protective and facilitative measures for Iranian scholars at risk or in exile; measures include creating scholarships, explicit application processes; waiving tuition and application fees, and further accommodating actions.
To establish and promote educational activities including funding programs and scholarly research projects that raise awareness on the human rights situation in Iran; workshops, panel discussions, conferences, and publications can be called to this matter both in the short- and long-term.
To disengage with the Regime’s lobbyists who promote the Regime’s propaganda, and to amplify the collective voice of the people of Iran.
To call for a firm and unequivocal release of all political prisoners and detainees of the current revolution in Iran and to advocate international organizations including the United Nations and all its subsidiaries to apply maximal international pressure to hold the Regime accountable for its crimes and violations against human rights.
To call for a halt to and abstain from any deal or action that will financially or otherwise assist the Regime.
With this statement, we, the Iranian Scholars for Liberty and collaborators around the world, seek to cast light on the ongoing revolution against the totalitarian theocracy in Iran. Iranian Scholars for Liberty is a collective group of faculty, students, staff, and alumni. Our mission is to amplify the voice of the people of Iran and raise awareness of the events happening in Iran through our network in the diaspora. The Iranian Scholars for Liberty is an independent, non-partisan, non-religious, and non-profitable entity and is not affiliated with any other organization or political party (such as NIAC, MEK, or any separationist organization).
In solidarity with the people of Iran,
For Woman. Life. Freedom.