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University students attend a protest inside Tehran University while anti-riot Iranian police prevent them to join other protestors, in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017. A wave of spontaneous protests over Iran's weak economy swept into Tehran on Saturday, with college students and others chanting against the government just hours after hard-liners held their own rally in support of the Islamic Republic's clerical establishment. by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran.
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Rights Group Slams Iran for Denying Student Activists an Education

Why Global Citizens Should Care
Every person should be entitled to receive an education regardless of gender, economic status, race, or political affiliation. Student activists in Iran are in danger of losing their right to educational opportunities. You can join us in telling leaders how important education is here

Iranian student Zia Nabavi can’t get into graduate school, and it’s not because he doesn’t have the grades. 

Nabavi ranked ninth out of thousands of students on the sociology program entrance exam, but authorities allegedly won’t process his application because he has a history of protesting. His application was labeled “lacking documents,” on the Ministry of Higher Education’s website, according to Human Rights Watch

Take Action: Tell Leaders How Important Education in Emergencies Is 

After standing up for his peers who had their activism used against them while applying to schools, Nabavi suspects he’s being punished for the same reason. He shared his situation on Twitter on Tuesday.

In the tweet Navabi explained his application had been "starred," and tagged several of the countries politicians incuding President Hassan Rouhani.

Iranian authorities have discreetly prevented students activists from furthering their education over the past decade by flagging applications as incomplete, according to the Humans Rights Watch. 

Iran’s president Rouhani slammed former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s history of using peaceful protesting against students during his 2013 campaign. When Rouhani went into office, his administration allowed some students whose applications had been affected to continue their education, but not all. Out of the nearly 500 complaints students filed against their unjustly unprocessed applications, only 40 were allowed to reinroll according to a member of the Ministry of Science. 

Despite Rouhani’s effort to defend student activists, many claim schools still won’t let them register for graduate school — and advocates aren’t pleased. 

“I hope other parliamentarians will step up this year and make sure student activists like Zia Nabavi won’t suffer any more harm,” said Tara Sepehri Far, an Iran researcher at Human Rights Watch. “It is shameful for Rouhani’s administration, who once celebrated the re-enrollment of students to school as a rare success story, to return to the same restrictive measures.”

Since January 2018, the Intelligence Ministry has arrested at least 150 student activists, and 17 of them have been imprisoned. 

Read More: What You Need to Know About the Student Protests in Bangladesh

Iranian student activists need support from those willing to challenge the threat to their right to learn. Politicians like Fatemeh Saeedi, a member of parliament from Tehran, offered to help investigate cases like Nabavi’s. 

As long as Iranian students continue protesting, they’re going to need protection. Recently youth activists have organized against a range of issues in the country, including Islamic dress and economic conditions