Officials at Iran’s Art University have temporarily barred 40 female students from attending classes for their alleged “failure to fully observe” the Islamic dress code as the government continues to increase pressure on campuses after unrest over the death of a young woman while in police custody for allegedly wearing a head scarf improperly.

The Student Guild Councils reported on June 12 that the university’s security has conditionally suspended the students saying that if they appear at the university without a Maghna’eh — a black cloth covering their head, forehead, chin, and chest — their suspensions will take full effect.

Such a move, the Councils said, was done “through a completely illegal process.”

The Art University has made several attempts to make the Maghna’eh mandatory for students over the past decade, but the move has been met with resistance from students. The resentment over the policy has grown after months of unrest — led by students and women around Iran — sparked by the death in September of Mahsa Amini while in police custody over a headscarf violation.

Several students and professors already have been barred or suspended from the school recently for supporting protests over the 22-year-old Amini’s death in Tehran.

The government has tried to quell the unrest through a brutal crackdown that has seen hundreds die and thousands more detained.

As part of the crackdown, authorities have been ramping up patrols and enforcement of dress codes on school campuses nationwide.

Female students at Shahid Beheshti University recently were warned that if they violate the mandatory head covering rules, the school will “erase” their courses, meaning they will not get credit for the year’s work.

Student activists at the university have also reported “harassment and threats” of female students for not wearing a Maghna’eh.

Independent student organizations, along with 200 students from the Faculty of Social Sciences at Tehran University, protested last week in a letter against the “denial of the right to education and banning” of protesting students.

They referred to the “creation of fear and beatings in the university environment, banning and arresting by security institutions outside the university” as some of the tools of the university to suppress and silence the unquenchable voice of students.

Universities and students have long been at the forefront of the struggle for greater social and political freedoms in Iran. In 1999, students protested the closure of a reformist daily, prompting a brutal raid on the dorms of Tehran University that left one student dead.

Over the years, the authorities have arrested student activists and leaders, sentencing them to prison and banning them from studying.

The activist HRANA news agency says at least 700 university students have been arrested during the recent unrest.

Many have faced sentences such as imprisonment, flogging, and dozens of students have been expelled from universities or suspended from their studies, as security forces try to stifle widespread dissent.

Source » shabtabnews