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Ali Younesi and Amir-Hossein Moradi Mark National Student Day

In an open letter, political prisoners and elite students Ali Younesi and Amir-Hossein Moradi mark Iran's Student Day, heralding freedom.
In an open letter, political prisoners and elite students Ali Younesi and Amir-Hossein Moradi mark Iran's Student Day, heralding freedom.

On December 7, National Student Day in Iran, Ali Younesi and Amir Hossein Moradi, two elite students at the Sharif University of Technology marked the event in an open letter.

Authorities detained Younesi and Moradi in April 2020 and sentenced them to 16 years in prison on charges of sympathizing with the main Iranian opposition movement, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), acting against “national security”, and “engaging in propaganda,” according to then-Judiciary Spokesperson Gholam-Hossein Esmaili, on May 5, 2020.

Younesi, a sophomore in physics and computer science at the time of his arrest, won gold and silver medals in International Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad (IOAA) in 2018 and 2017 respectively.  Moradi won a silver medal in National Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad in 2017.

The two political prisoners, now imprisoned in Iran’s infamous Evin Prison, have sent a message from Evin Prison on Student’s Day, December 7.

They wrote:

December 7 is a day named after students. For those determined to transform the dark night of our nation into a bright morning of freedom. For those who have stood side by side with the people and youth of our country.

They have endured to complete the last lines of the darkest page of Iran’s history with their own hands and to start a new chapter of history and conceive a new design (for the future of Iran).

The day and its name recall the bloody suppression of universities and the killing of three students at Tehran University by the dictatorial monarchy. It is a reminder of that day when students stood up with all their strength for freedom and liberty.

Today too, the universities have become an arena to demonstrate the struggle for freedom and unity among students on the one hand and to expose the evil nature of this criminal regime, which brazenly encircles, shoots, and oppresses students, on the other.

But these days, with their continuous protests, the students rendered null and void analyses of all the skeptics who described the universities as being (politically) dead, and once again in the future they expose all the pessimists who express doubts about the future of Iran.

Students, along with other daring and brave youth, are the guarantors of Iran’s bright future, those who want to endure and take back Iran.

We are proud to be students and bow to the universities that do not rest no matter how much they are threatened and besieged, no matter how much they have become the roaming grounds for security forces.

We bow to students who are no longer merely shouting but rebelling, students who have been arrested, banned, suspended, and threatened.

Those who do not tolerate the shedding of blood cry out: “We swear by the blood of our comrades, we will stand until the end.”

In these days, we have been and are with you and with our dear friends in universities all over Iran. With every news that we hear, we see ourselves by your side.  With every news of your arrest, we revisit the first days of our arrest and learn from your courage and bravery. With your resilience and indefatigability, we follow the news every day with hope.

From behind the stone walls of Evin prison, we see the flares of the sun of freedom, which rises in the heart of the darkest night of our homeland. Red flares, the color of blood, the blood of the best offspring of this land.  We stand, arms locked, from inside the prisons to the universities and to the streets. We believe that the moment of our reunion is getting closer.

The sun rose like fire and red blood,

Shamed it was by the blood of the valiant youth,

It broke and withered like a tulip when it saw,

From every drop, a thousand suns had soared!


Long live the democratic revolution of the Iranian people.

Ali Younesi and Amirhossein Moradi

December 2022