Violence in Iran

BOKU joins the statement of the Austrian Conference of Universities and condemns the ongoing violence used by the Iranian regime against their people.

The Austrian Universities Conference (uniko) is shocked by the continuing violence with which the Iranian regime brutally acts against students, professors and civil society and tries to nip any protest in the bud: "The tragic death of the art student Mahsa Amini, which has triggered a wave of protest, must be fully clarified and must not remain without consequences," said uniko President Sabine Seidler. "The Austrian universities therefore make an urgent appeal to the Austrian Federal Government and the European Commission to take a clear stand here and to facilitate the admission of threatened researchers* from Iran who are seeking protection." In addition, uniko calls for the establishment of a national support program for threatened researchers based on the international model and wants to open up new perspectives for women who are particularly at risk.

The MORE initiative launched by uniko, which has recently made it possible to support numerous students from Ukraine, could also be extended to threatened scientists* and artists* by means of a new track. "We have the concepts, networks like Scholars at Risk and the broad support of the universities - what we lack is the support and means to implement them," says uniko President Seidler. The goal is to provide qualified individuals with at-risk status with protection and a new perspective quickly and unbureaucratically through temporary employment at a university and a targeted mentoring program. A number of programs of this kind have already been launched at the international and European level, complemented by national initiatives such as the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation's Philipp Schwartz Initiative in Germany or the PAUSE program in France. Now would be the right time for Austria to follow suit here.