Nasrollah Hekmat, a professor of Islamic philosophy at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran, said today that he would not attend his classes as a show of solidarity with student protests in Iran.
Students are among many groups that have taken to the streets over the past 11 days, after the murder of Mahsa Amini, and student strikes have also spread across the country. Support has been growing for academics to join the movement.
Hekmat, in a letter written to his students, said: "As long as you are not at the university, and with full respect and honor and without any fear, do not step into the university, I will not attend any classes."
The professor praised the protests of Iranian students over the past 11 days and added: "I have learned lessons from you that cannot be learned in any university. The lesson of courage, honesty, standing up to achieve one's rights, resistance against force and oppression, tearing off the masks of hypocrisy and pretense, respect for the people, soft and civil confrontation with the mountain of ruthlessness and violence and oppression, [and] honest effort to achieve freedom".
Lili Galehdaran, a member of the Faculty of Drama of Shiraz Art University, resigned from her position there several days ago when she published a letter in support of the nationwide popular and student protests. Ammar Ashouri, a professor at the Faculty of Art and Architecture of Central Tehran Azad University, also resigned, as did Gholamreza Shahbazi, a drama professor at the Art University and Soureh University.
Alireza Bahraini, Shahram Khazaei, and Azin Movahed, professors at Sharif University, Iran’s leading university for science and technology, also announced that intended to dismiss their classes in support of the nationwide strikes.