In interviews with Radio Farda, two members of the association of Islamic student councils, who participated in the July 9, 1999 uprising and organized many rallies, lectures and political events during the past five years in commemoration of the uprising, reflect on the government’s reaction. RadioFarda Newsroom – July 8, 2004- The students’ Islamic councils themselves and their association (Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat) has concluded that the Islamic Republic cannot be reformed, and legal, open political action is not possible under this regime, secretary of the political committee of the association of Islamic student councils Said Razavi-Faqih tells Radio Farda’s broadcaster Maryam Ahmadi about the statement issued today in Tehran by the Daftar in commemoration of the July 9 uprising.
The statement calls for cultural and social work outside the framework of the regime, in order to pressure the political authority to be more responsive to the people’s demands, says Razavi-Faqih, now a student in Paris.
Due to the limitations we are facing, from the interior ministry and from the universities’ management, the Islamic student councils could not hold any rallies or demonstrations, on or off campus, he adds.
“Since we are committed to avoiding endangering the students by violent or unlawful actions, we could not hold any programs this year,” he says, noting the regime, particularly the non-elected part of it, had always tried to control the reform movement and the student activism and stop any dynamic movement in its tracks.
He says it is regrettable that many student activists are still in jail, five years after the uprising. “We believe that the judiciary is not following the law in dealing with the cases of jailed students Ahmad Batebi or jailed journalists and political activists such as Saber, Alijani, Rahmani and others.”
“The July 9 anniversary passes in silence and under repression, because the ruling authority wants this day to be forgotten,” Hojatollah Sharifi, a former member of the central council of the association of the Islamic students councils, tells Radio Farda. However, he adds, several small events were staged by students, which had symbolic meaning, including a photo exhibit at the Sharif engineering university, and similar exhibits in other schools. “The least we can do is to keep the memory of July 9 alive in order to highlight the cruelty endured by the students since then,” he says.
“The fact that perpetrators of the July 8 attack continue to hold high level positions and have become candidates for the Majles seats has been a slap in the face of the students, who were thrown in jail instead of the perpetrators.”