The Iranian embassy in Norway has lodged a complaint with a Norwegian Students’ Association about a poster that depicts various dictators including the Ayatollah Khomeini, Hitler and Stalin fleeing in terror from educated, dissenting students.
SAIH’s annual campaign has created controversy. This year’s campaign focuses on the students’ role as critics and democracy builders. Students throughout the world are censored, monitored, persecuted and imprisoned for their social commitment. The campaign is fronted by a poster put up on all Norwegian university and college towns. The poster shows the dictators Adolf Hitler, Muammar al-Gadafi, Robert Mugabe, Kim Jong-il, Joseph Stalin – and the Ayatollah Khomeini who flee from the protesting students. This poster angered the Iranian embassy, causing them to demand its removal.
Writes the Iranian Embassy:
“Unfortunately, the poster contains a picture of our great late leader Imam Khomeini, next dictators like Hitler. You have offended the feelings of a great nation, says the email that SAIH has received from the press chief of the Iranian Embassy in Oslo, Mohammad Javad Hosseini. – The Embassy of The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly protests against this action and wants your organization to remove this picture as soon as possible; it is further stated in the email from the embassy.”
Anette Remme, president of SAIH, finds the reactions from the Iranian Embassy to be both provocative and unacceptable. “We have been told that the image of the poster now has begun to circulate among students in Iran. I hope that this gives the Iranian students the feeling that we stand together, and that it can provide inspiration in the struggle for justice.”
Most of Iranians who contact SAIH congratulate and welcome the campaign, but many do not want to speak publicly in fear of reactions from the Iranian government.