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Statement on Human Rights Violations in Iran

At the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, we pride ourselves on being a global university and celebrate the cultural diversity and international community on our campus. With that said, we are closely following current events in Iran. I speak for the leadership of UT in voicing our strong support for the Iranian community, including our faculty, students, and staff who have family, friends, and loved ones in Iran.

We are deeply disturbed by the violence and human rights violations against the people of Iran, especially the violence by the so-called “morality police” against Mahsa Amini and other Iranian women. Because of recent protests, the Iranian government has limited access to the Internet which has isolated Iranians from one another and from the outside world. Due to this, Iranians on our campus and around the world cannot communicate with family and friends in Iran. Communication, respect, understanding and life long learning are critical components to a just society. They need to be the very fabric of which our governance, leadership and daily life are built upon. When there are faults in these systems we must own our mistakes and do better for each other.

To our Iranian community at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, we are here for you. We stand with the Iranian people at this crucial time on the path to freedom and justice for their citizens. The university is ready to support you during this time of uncertainty. Please do not hesitate to contact the appropriate university office for any immediate assistance we may be able to provide.

Dr. Gretchen Neisler
Vice Provost, International Affairs
Director, Center for Global Engagement