Homo Homini Award went to two arrested Iranian student leaders

Prague, 8 March, 2010 – Two detained Iranian student leaders Majid Tavakoli and Abdollah Momeni were awarded for the 2009 by Homo Homini Award. Along with the imprisoned Iranian students the organization has symbolically recognized the whole Iranian student movement. The People in Need organization annually bestows the Homo Homini Award on people who have contributed significantly to human rights protection in the World. Two delegates will collect the award at the One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival opening in Prague on March 10.

"Both recipients have played an important role in the formation of the Iranian student movement that has become crucial in the promotion of freedom of expression and democracy in Iran in the past ten years," said. “Iranian students are traditionally very active in proreform protests. As a result they are exposed to monitoring, whipping and arrest and within the context of post election protests their situation has worsened”.

One of the recipients, Majid Tavakoli, is a student of Amir Kabir University in Teheran. For his effort in human rights protection he was arrested twice in the past, firstly in 2006.. More recently, he was detained after a speech in which he openly criticized the Iranian regime, false imprisonment of demonstrators and other human rights abuses relating to student actions on December 7 in 2009. For his participation in the protests He was sentenced to 8 years in prison in January 2010.

After He was arrested photographs were published of him dressed in hidjab in the semi-official media Fars news and Raja news. He was charged with trying to escape the security forces from a university campus after making his speech dressed as a woman. To all appearances this was done as an attempt to on various internet websites to support him.him. After this a huge campaign started on various internet websites to support him.

The second laureate is Abdollah Momeni, one of the student leaders from 1999 when huge numbers of students protested daily against the abolition of reform newpaper. In the evening of the day when the demonstrations took place, security forces broke into the student campus of Teheran University and beat up the students. Within the next week the riots spread to the streets of Teheran and other towns and became the biggest rising since the Islamic revolution.

Abdollah Momeni worked as a longtime spokesman of the Advar-e Tahkim Vahdat organization which focuses on enforcement of democracy and human rights protection. He was arrested during protests after the election in June 2009 and later sentenced to eight years in prison for his presence at post-election gatherings and activities against national security. According to witness statements, Momeni is subject to abusive treatment in prison.

According to the latest unofficial news Abdollah Momeni was released on bail for five days on March 7 2010. Then he must return to prison. He will probably hear the news that he has won the Homo Homini Award before his return to jail.

VOA reporting on this ;


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