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Iran dissidents pay a high price

As two Iranians are hanged for taking part in protests, dissidents stuck in the country ponder their own fate.

Mohammadi wrote a letter to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad describing her situation, but did not receive a reply.

After the mass layoffs of university professors in recent weeks, members of the parliament have voiced their concern.

Nasrollah Torabi, a representative of Shahre Kord city in Parliament who has been against harsh treatment of opposition after the election, said last Sunday that “dismissing professors from their posts just because they are politically active is a big blow to education in the country. History has shown that any country which has gone down the same path has risked going back to the Stone Ages.”

Ali Abbaspour-Tehrani, head of Parliament’s Teaching and Research Commission said on Monday that “the system of forced retirements in universities must be corrected, and we are pursuing more transparency on the issue,” according to Parleman news.

According to article 43 of Iranian constitution: “The government is responsible for organizing the country’s economic program in a way that it allows for employees to have time and energy for personal, spiritual, social and political activities."

But becoming a political or social activist in Iran has its price. A point to consider for estimating the current opposition force in Iran is how much of the population would be part of it, were they not to face daily harassment.

“When you lose your work because of activism, you start to question everything,” said Razaghi. “You constantly have to justify becoming an activist in the first place, to yourself and your family who depended on you. Yet its with knowledge to all these retributions that many in Iran become activists. They refuse to give up their rights, whatever the price may be.”