A prominent Iranian academic is being mourned by freedom-loving Iranians following his sudden death on December 2.

Dr. Mohammad Maleki, the first chancellor of Tehran University after the 1979 revolution against the Shah, was a supporter of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), a pro-democracy opposition group, and was beloved by the people for his political activism, particularly his protests against the regime’s tyranny. Let’s look at just a few:

  • Maleki was previously arrested by the regime’s security forces on the charge of Moharebeh (enmity against God).
  • Following heavy rocket attacks on the MEK’s Camp Liberty in Iraq by regime proxies in 2015, Maleki said: “Those who are today on the other side of the border, under rockets, are standing tall as mountains. For 50 years, both the Shah and the mullahs tried to destroy them, but they failed.”
  • In 2016, following the killing of a student at Sharif University of Technology, Maleki urged teachers and students to protest the regime.

Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of the Resistance of Iran (NCRI), gave a statement following Dr. Maleki’s untimely death and expressed her condolences to those who knew him and those who looked up to him.

“He was under pressure and torture in prison for years for opposing the ruling theocracy. Following his release, he also endured pressures and restrictions,” she tweeted.

Meanwhile, over 300 trade union, political, and civil activists made their own statement about Dr. Maleki, where they said he was a “prominent figure in the struggle against tyranny.”

In the statement, published on their Telegram channel, they wrote: “We express our condolences to the family of Dr. Maleki and to all freedom lovers.”

On December 6, political prisoners from Evin Prison, Tehran’s Great Prison, Karaj Central Prison, Urmia Central prison, Qarchak Prison of Varamin, Sheiban Prison of Ahvaz, and Qom Prison, sent out a statement praising Dr. Maleki’s decades-long struggle against the two dictatorships of the Shah and the mullahs.

“He spent his life struggling against dictatorships for the freedom of Iran and Iranians. He spent many years in prison, under torture, and witnessed many executions in the 80s. He taught us to seek freedom from the cradle to the grave,” they wrote.

The MEK meanwhile wrote that Dr. Maleki, a “modest and grounded person” who “never sought fame”, was “a great defender of political prisoners and freedom activists in Iran” and that “his deed will never be forgotten.”