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International Group of Lawmakers Stand with Iran’s Youth on Student Day

Kirk (US), Lieberman (US), Cotler (CA), MacShane (UK), Danby (AU), Nirenstein (IT), Zingeris (LT) make a joint statement for Iran’s students and demand the immediate release of all political prisoners in Iran

Tuesday, Dec 6

WASHINGTON - United States Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Canadian Member of Parliament (MP) Irwin Cotler, British MP Denis MacShane, Australian MP Michael Danby, Italian MP Fiamma Nirenstein, and Lithuanian MP Emanuelis Zingeris released the following joint statement to stand in solidarity with Iran's youth on Student Day:

"We applaud the students of Iran who are courageously calling attention to the Iranian regime's systematic campaign of violence, fear, and repression. We must support these human rights activists who oppose the radical agenda of the pro-regime Basij who attacked the British Embassy last week. The real students of Iran are banned from university for peaceful activism and for calling the regime out on its rampant human rights abuses. These brave students stand in stark contrast to the fake students linked to the Iranian authorities who stormed the British embassy in yet another vindictive attempt to isolate the Iranian people from the rest of the world. In Iran, those who dare to exercise the basic freedoms of religion, association, and expression that we take for granted are often jailed, tortured or killed. Today we hope the students who dare to speak out for a free and democratic Iran will know that they have support around the world.

We condemn the detainment of university students Bahareh Hedayat, Majid Tavakoli, and Mahdieh Golroo, and the denial of education to thousands of Baha'i students. We call for the immediate release of the seven Baha'i educators: Mahmoud Badavam, Nooshin Khadem, Vahid Mahmoudi, Kamran Mortezaie, Farhad Sedghi, Riaz Sobhani, and Ramin Zibaie; the seven Baha'i leaders known as "the Yaran": Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Mahvash Sabet, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm; and all Iranian political prisoners. Iran's students represent the best hope for a free Iran. When that day comes, they will have true partners in us."

Student Day in Iran is a day known for nationwide university protests. Since the regime's violent crackdown on student protests in 1999, it has become a day for Iranian university students to protest against the abuses of their government.


In May, Senator Kirk launched the Iranian Dissident Awareness Program (IDAP) in the United States Senate to highlight the persecution of those opposed to the Iranian regime. Information on IDAP, including the stories of specific dissidents, can be found on Sen. Kirk's website by clicking here.

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