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Iranian Student Who Sewed Lips Together In Protest Arrested

By Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL

Dariush Jalali, a student at Iran's Yasuj University who had sewn his lips together to protest the pressure he had been facing over his activism, has reportedly been arrested.

Dariush Jalali

Reports say Jalali had sewn his lips together over the weekend and chained himself to the metal railing outside of his university, which is in southwestern Iran.


Jalali was reportedly sentenced to one year in prison last year after participating in an opposition protest. He had been released after spending three months in jail. University officials had put pressure on Jalali and banned him from classes.

Daneshjounews, a website that covers news related to Iran's student movement, reported on February 23 that security forces had detained Jalali "violently" and taken him away in a car. His whereabouts are unknown.


In a statement issued before his arrest, Jalali explained the reasons behind his unusual form of protest.

"Why am I protesting in this fashion? Why with lips closed? Why with chained feet? I sewed my lips because no one heard my cry against injustice. I chained my feet because my running didn't take me anywhere," he said.

"No matter how much I shouted, no one heard me. I said maybe my silence will be heard. I ran and ran but no one saw it. I said maybe I will be noticed by being in chains."

Copyright (c) 2012 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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