UK Politics

Student Jailer to be Honoured

Scotland’s oldest university is in trouble for deciding to honour a man who has, shall we say, a less than spotless record on academic freedom:

Muhammad Khatami is to be made an honorary doctor of laws by Sir Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat leader who is also the university’s chancellor.

The National Union of Students wants his invitation withdrawn unless Ahmad Batebi, a student jailed in 1999 during a pro-democracy protest, is freed.

Iranian exiles are drawing up a petition demanding St Andrews withdraw the invitation. “Thousands of people are seething about this,” said Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi, a New York-based Iranian organising the petition. “How can a man who imprisoned and oppressed thousands of students in Iran be given a degree by an academic institution?”

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