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Protests in Iran: uniko calls for a national programme for researchers at risk

The Austrian Universities Conference (uniko) is shocked by the continuing brutal violence of the Iranian regime against students, professors and civil society and attempts to surpress any protest from the start.

"The tragic death of the art student Mahsa Amini, which has triggered a wave of protest, must be fully investigated and must not remain without consequences," said uniko President Sabine Seidler. "The Austrian universities are therefore urgently appealing to the Austrian Federal Government and the European Commission to take a clear stand here and to facilitate the admission of researchers from Iran who are threatened and seeking protection." In addition, uniko calls for the establishment of a national support programme 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 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 give qualified persons with at-risk status protection and a new perspective quickly and unbureaucratically through temporary employment at a university and a targeted mentoring programme. A number of programmes of this kind have already been launched at the international and European level, which are complemented by national initiatives such as the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation's Philipp Schwartz Initiative in Germany or the PAUSE programme in France. Now would be the right time for Austria to follow suit.

Further links:
Inspireurope Policy Recommendations Report - SAR Europe

As a member of the Universities Conference (Uniko), the Rectorate of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna expressly supports the demands.