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January 20, 2010

Majid Tavakoli sentenced to 8.5 years in prison, 5 years ban from political activity and exiting country

Majid Tavakoli was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison and a five year ban from political activity and leaving the country. Tavakoli is the Amir Kabir student who was arrested (for the third time) after giving a speech at the university and was later dressed in hejab by the authorities in an attempt to embarrass him. This failure led to the Men in Hejab Campaign, in which Iranian and non-Iranian men worldwide dressed in hejab as a sign of solidarity with Tavakoli. Here’s more from Radio Zamaneh:

The Revolutionary Court has charged him with “assembly and collusion against the regime, propaganda against the regime, insulting the Leadership and the President.”
Majid Tavakoli was arrested twice prior to this. The first time he spent 19 months in prison and the second time he was questioned for over three months in solitary confinement.
State media had claimed that after the speech at the University, Majid Tavakoli had tried to escape the security forces at the scene by “dressing up as a woman.”
A photo of the student activist was released the day after his arrest dressed in a woman’s outfit.

Eyewitness accounts said Tavakoli was arrested wearing regular male clothing.

In protest to his arrest and in his support, Iranians started a campaign by the name of “men in Hijab” where numerous men posted their pictures wearing headscarves or chadors on the internet.

Student activist have been target of fierce government crackdown in the past seven months. Yesterday four students from Qazvin’s International University were expelled from university. Six other students were given a total of 18 terms of suspension.

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