Sep 6, 2023
More Academics Sacked in Iran ahead of Mahsa Anniversary
A professor, an assistant professor and a lecturer have been discharged from their posts at three Tehran universities, as the Iranian authorities intensify their crackdown on academics supporting the "Woman, Life, Freedom" protest movement.
The sacking of Maham Meiqany, a professor at Tehran University of Fine Arts, Sara Malekan, an assistant professor at Amir Kabir University, and Mojtaba Pourbakhsh, a prominent Iranian sports presenter and lecturer at Azad University, comes just days ahead of the first anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s death in police custody.
The government, fearing a flare up in protests ahead of the September 16 anniversary and the start of a new academic year later this month, has ramped up its crackdown against activists, journalists and families of those killed in the widespread demonstrations.
The authorities have made clear they would not tolerate a repeat of the type of student demonstrations that shook universities across the country following Amini’s death, and are purging the ranks of university professors, dismissing dozens of them over the past months.
Meiqany, a well-known storyteller and playwright, closed his classes at the Faculty of Performing Arts last year in protest of the mass arrest of protesting students.
The professor confirmed his dismissal from Tehran University of Fine Arts on Instagram and said that she remains committed to her students.
Meanwhile, Iran’s union of student councils announced that Malekan received a termination letter at Amir Kabir University after returning from maternity leave.
It said the assistant professor at the Faculty of Management had criticized the management and security environment at the university.
Pourbakhsh, known for producing and hosting programs on state-run Sports TV, shared on his Instagram account the official termination notice issued by the Ministry of Science.
In a message accompanying the document, he expressed his gratitude to the "distinguished individuals within the field of sports science who provided him with the unique opportunity to engage in classroom teaching” at the university.
Pourbakhsh has been an outspoken supporter of the nationwide protests sparked by the death of the 22-year-old Amini.