Iranian universities are places of repression.

About 20 to 30 students from the group Students for Freedom and Equality are being held as prisoners of conscience because of their political involvement at Amir Kabir University, an Amnesty International urgent action report said today. Over the summer Iranian students were publicly hanged for various fabricated charges. Such as for being homosexual, which is considered “immodest”. (Though Iran performs more sex changes than any other nation besides Thailand!) But immodesty is a punishable offense in general. A Flickr user has a collection of photos from the hangings.

But when we talk about Iran we must be very careful in explaining what our position is.

If we talk about Iran in negative ways we run the risk of joining the chorus of American war-mongers in proclaiming “Islamo-Fascism” as the new enemy of America and lend credibility to the case for invasion. It therefore becomes very difficult to articulate a non-interventionist position while explaining the injustice in Iran.

Student activism in Iran is severely silenced, and this to me means they are spreading truths about the regime instead of libel. Just as the artists speak the truth about the situation in Plato’s Republic, but Plato says they’re only distorting the truth and therefore must be silenced.

In fact students are the ones who brought the Iranian Revolution years ago, just like in so many other places – Greece, for example. And now they are also the ones who fight against it. Groups like the Student Movement Coordination Committee For Democracy in Iran (SMCCDI) want to oust the regime and bring democracy to an increasingly fascist nation. They look forward to a “post theocratic Iran” they say. And now perhaps the only way they can overthrow the Ayatollahs is through violence, since a peaceful revolution has been ruled out of the question by the regime.