Iran: HRK Senate Expresses Concern about Violence against University Members

In view of the escalating situation in Iran and the obvious repression of students and academics by the state at numerous Iranian universities, the Senate of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) expressed its shock and concern.

In the wake of the nationwide protests following the violent death of Mahsa (Zhina) Amini in police custody, there were apparently strikes and protests at more than one hundred universities. According to consistent media reports, the state is acting with increasing severity against the protesters, many of whom are university members. 

“The right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are being violated to a considerable extent. We are extremely concerned about the situation,” says HRK President Prof Dr Peter-André Alt. The HRK Senate declared its solidarity with Iranian citizens, especially members of Iranian universities, in their commitment to human rights and explicitly also women's rights, and appealed to all parties to refrain from violence.

The President’s Office of the University of Mannheim shares the position of the HRK Senate. “We show solidarity with the members of Iranian higher education institutions protesting for women’s rights and human rights”, says Professor Dr. Thomas Puhl, President of the University of Mannheim, also in his role as chair of the Rectors’ Conference of Baden-Württemberg’s universities. Puhl confirmed that the University of Mannheim firmly supported the statement of the HRK Senate from 5 October 2022.