After the death of Jina (Mahsa) Amini—a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman killed while in “morality” police custody—thousands of people have been injured, killed, or imprisoned during the ongoing anti-government protests in Iran. Some are students from Sharif University and the University of Tehran, two of the country’s prestigious academic institutions. Students were attacked with tear gas, live rounds, and shotguns, viciously beaten, arrested en masse, and detained in unknown locations.
These widespread protests have also been met with the brutal suppression and violation of the rights of children. Many minors and teenagers were killed in this uprising. The Iranian Society for Protecting the Rights of the Child (IRSPRC) has confirmed the oppression, arrests, and the killing of at least 28 children. We stand in solidarity with Iranians, particularly young women and girls, who are rising up against a repressive political regime.
As an internationally renowned institution, Rutgers must utilize its influence and power to amplify the voices being silenced in Iran. This request is not excessive or unique, given the recognition Rutgers has given other international matters in the past. Thus, we are respectfully asking Rutgers to make a public statement acknowledging the atrocities taking place in Iran through a mass email to the entirety of the student and staff population.
In light of these events, we ask Rutgers to host a virtual public discussion with leading experts on the issue of Iran. We request that the Iranian students confirm the guest speakers’ names prior to a formal invitation and be invited to participate in the discussion. Due to the polarized climate and the presence of the Iranian government’s ardent supporters at some recent higher education events, Iranian students wish to help verify the competence of the speakers.
To aid our Iranian peers who are in the process of applying to US universities, including Rutgers, we request Rutgers to provide:
- An application fee waiver for Iranian students.
- A deadline extension for the submission of applications and test scores, since students in Iran may not have the opportunity to take online tests amid internet disruption.
- A temporary policy modification to accept unofficial transcripts, since university administration and staff in Iran have been impacted or are on strike as of now.
A group of Iranian students have reached out to President Holloway and were told that RU Global will be working on this issue. Due to the time-sensitive nature of this situation, we are requesting that RU Global prioritize this matter.
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