SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: October 16, 2023

Attack Types: Imprisonment | Prosecution

Institution(s):Amir Kabir University of Technology

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Iran

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On October 16, 2023, the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence arrested Ali Ramezani, a student at Amir Kabir University of Technology, for his involvement in the 2022-2023 “Women, Life, Freedom” student protests. Ramezani was later sentenced to 3 years and 7 months in prison.

In addition to being a student, Ramazani is a distinguished member of Iran’s Microelectronics Olympiad national team and a recipient of international Olympiad medals. After arresting him during an overnight raid on his family home, Iranian authorities later released Ramazani on bail from Ward 209 of Evin prison.

On February 21, 2024, Branch 26 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran sentenced Ramezani to 3 years and 7 months in prison on charges of “assembly and collusion against national security” and “propaganda against the regime”.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the arbitrary imprisonment and prosecution of a student in apparent retaliation for the peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and assembly — conduct that is expressly protected by international human rights instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the Islamic Republic of Iran is a party. In addition to the harm to the immediate victim, such incidents have a chilling effect on academic freedom and undermine democratic society generally.