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A New Wave of Purges of Social Science Academicians at Iranian Universities

By Mojtaba Eshraghi, Rooz Online

Following remarks by Iran's leader ayatollah Khamenei calling for a review of the "social sciences" at the country's universities, a new wave of purges and changes has been launched at Allameh Tabatabai University. According to an informed source, five prominent university professors from the law school of this university, particularly those in the fields of human rights, are now deprived of their teaching practices.

llameh Tabatabai University, the largest Iranian specialized state university in social sciences, is under the supervision of the Ministry of Sciences, Research and Technology. A.T.U. was founded after the Islamic Revolution of Iran, in 1983, through the articulation of 24 independent colleges and faculties that were established before the Islamic Revolution. 

In the leading case on the issue, Dr Mohammad-reza Bighdeli, an accomplished professor of international law in Iran and the former dean of the school of law and political science at Allameh Tabatabai University, whose book on international law has been reprinted over 25 times,  and who is recognized as a leading and respected authorities in his field in all law schools across the country, has been forcefully retired from his position and will not be allowed to teach starting the new academic year this Spring.

Dr Bighdeli has never commented on current political matters but it is said that the reason for his forced retirement is his wide opposition to the admittance of some students to the doctoral programs at the law school of this university. As an example, last year a young woman who was the daughter of a prominent cleric, was given admission to the doctoral program at the school while she only held an honors degree in the recitation of the Quran but who had not taken a single course in the Master's program for international law.

Ayatollah Khamenei wants universities purged
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Another change relates to the classes of Dr Ali Azmayesh, the most respected professor of criminal law and international criminal law also at Allameh Tabatabai University. Dr Azmayesh who is an internationally acclaimed academician, has more than 20 research papers in Persian and 10 in other languages. It is said that while he has been teaching as a visiting scholar at Allameh for years, Azmayesh has refrained from publishing a book on criminal law in Iran because of the inconsistency of the criminal code in Iran after the 1979 revolution with the scientific principles of law.

In yet another case, Dr Hossein Sharifi Tarazkoohi, a professor of human rights at the same university, who is acknowledged to be among the leading translators and editors in the field of human rights in recent years in Iran, has been barred from teaching on bureaucratic and administrative grounds. It is said that university authorities at one time even tried to dismiss the professor by raising ethical charges against him.

Last year, Dr Mohammad Mohammadi Gorgerin, the dean of the human rights group at Alamo Abitibi University was forcefully retired from his position, while before him another professor, Dr Morteza Mardiha from the school of law and political science too was barred from continuing his teachings.

... Payvand News - 10/04/09 ... --

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