Rashid Esmaili

Iranian student activist Rashid Esmaili has been arrested by security forces in Esfahan.

The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reports that Esmaili, an executive member of the student group Tahkim-e Vahdat, was arrested on Saturday September 8 without an arrest warrant.

According to the HRANA report, Esmaili was first arrested in December of 2009 while he was undergoing cancer treatment. He was banned from graduate studies in human rights at Allameh University and in recent months was involved in journalistic activities with various websites.

Advar News reports that Esmaili will be held by the Revolutionary Guards Security branch until his interrogation is complete.

Last June 17, international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, issued a joint statement expressing grave concern about the conditions for students at Iranian universities and the escalation of “arbitrary” arrests, as well as the expulsion of students and professors on the basis of their beliefs and political views.

According to the statement, since 2009 more than 600 students have been arrested and many are serving heavy prison terms. In addition, hundreds more have been banned from continuing their education on the basis of their political views and activities.