BRUSSELS - The European Students' Union (ESU) congratulates Majid Tavakoli, an imprisoned courageous student from Iran, for winning the Student Peace Prize 2013. ESU's Chairperson, Karina Ufert, said: "Tavakoli very much deserves to win this prize. He stood up for democracy and human rights in a country where criticizing the government is very dangerous."
Ufert continued: "We hope this award will create global attention for his situation and put pressure on the Iranian government to release Tavakoli.”
Tavakoli is currently serving a nine-year-long imprisonment because of his criticism of the Iranian government and his fight for democracy and human rights through speeches and publications. On 7 December 2009, the Student Day in Iran, Tavakoli held a speech where he criticized the government and spoke up for a free Iran after which he was arrested.
Tavakoli continues his battle despite the fact that he has been the victim of torture in prison. He describes the government as fascistic and despotic. As leader of the Islamic Student Association he has become a symbol of student's resistance against the regime in Iran, even though he is aware of the risk.
The Student Peace Prize is awarded annually to a student or a student organisation that has made an exceptional contribution to peace and human rights. It is awarded on behalf of all students in Norway. The prize has been awarded since 1999. More info on the Prize can be found here: http://www.studentpeaceprize.org/