IRAN: Profs write letter slamming expulsions, threats

A group of professors at Tarbiat Modares University, which specialises in training university staff and researchers, wrote an open letter to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warning him that the continuation of fear tactics in universities will have "destructive effects", reports Radio Zamaneh. On Wednesday, Kalameh website published the letter signed by 116 professors expressing grave concern over arrests and expulsion of students and sackings of academics.

The signatories wrote: "Today we are witnessing academics being treated in ways that are at odds with the common traditions of the academia, and until a short while ago, such acts were unimaginable". In recent months scores of students have been arrested and imprisoned while others have been summoned by university disciplinary committees and given various forms of bans from continuing their education.

In recent weeks a series of compulsory retirements of academics have been taking effect, starting with 12 professors at Alameh Tabatabai University. Also, pro-government forces in plain clothes have been attacking student gatherings on campuses and beating and injuring students. The professors wrote that extremists needed to be stopped and that "we should not fear the phenomenon of hearing diverse voices from universities; it is the silence of universities that should raise our concerns."
Full report on the Payvand Iran News site