Seyyed Saeidreza Ameli-Renani
Seyyed Saeidreza Ameli-Renani was born in 1961 in Karaj, Iran. He has received a seminary education. He also received a BA in Social Sciences, majored in researching, an MA in Sociology of Communications from University College of Dublin, and a PhD in Sociology of Communications from Royal Holloway, University of London.
- An early member of the IRGC, most likely until 1981
- Deputy Commander of the Imam Sadegh Brigade in the IRGC’s Seyyed al-Shohada Corps during the Iran-Iraq War
- Founder and Director of the Institute for Islamic Studies in London from 1 January 1997 to 1999
- Faculty Member at the Islamic College for Advanced Studies in London from 1 January 1997 to 2006
- Founder and Trustee of the Islamic Human Rights Commission in London from 1997 until present
- Member of the International Committee of Global Studies Association from 2002 until present
- Member of the American and Canadian Studies Centre at the University of Birmingham from 2004 to 2009
- Member of Research Committee at the Ministry of Education’s Cultural and Social Studies Department from 2010 until present
- Director at Quarterly Journal of World Studies from 2010 until present
- President of Iranian World Studies Association at the University of Tehran from 2011 until present
- Member of the Supreme Council for Monitoring Tehran’s Development from 2011 until present
- Vice President for Programming and Information Technology at Tehran University from 11 August 2012 until 31 January 2016
- Member of the Research Council at the Ministry of Finance from 2013 until present
- Member of the Strategic Council for Technology at the Ministry of Science and Technology from 2013 until present
- Professor of Communications at the Faculty of Social Sciences
- Dean of the Faculty of World Studies at the University of Tehran from 31 January 2016 until present
- Legal Member of the Supreme Council of Cyberspace from 5 September 2015 until present
- Member of the Committee for Scientific Programming of Cyberspace and Information Technology at Beheshti University from 2016 until present
- Member and Secretary of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution from 2 January 2019 until present
Human Rights Violations:
As a high-ranking authority in various positions within the Islamic Republic of Iran’s government, Seyyed Saeidreza Ameli-Renani has been responsible for serious human rights violations, by filtering and censoring the internet, allowing for the surveillance and persecution of internet users, and depriving Baha’i students of their right to education, based on their religion.
- Violations against Internet Users
As a legal member of the Supreme Council of Cyberspace, Seyyed Saeidreza Ameli-Renani has been responsible for the surveillance, filtering, and persecution of internet users and extensive violations of citizens’ rights.
The Supreme Council of Cyberspace is an extra-judicial establishment that pursues the regime’s policymaking with regards to the internet and enforces broad online surveillance, controlling and censoring cyberspace in Iran. The Council is responsible for freedom of speech violations by the Islamic Republic.
The May 2019 resolution by the Council, ‘Policies and Actions to Organize Domestic Text Messaging Apps’ was adopted during Ameli-Renani’s membership. This resolution describes the necessity of ‘storing’ and ‘processing the data related to texting apps’ inside the country. The resolution also states that the application’s user would be persecuted for their online activities: ‘The users are responsible for their actions on social media, and the service providers of text messaging apps are obliged to cooperate with officials.’
- Religious Discrimination against Baha’i Students
As Secretary of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution, Seyyed Saeidreza Ameli-Renani has been responsible in the deprivation of Baha’i citizens from their right to education.
The Cultural Revolution Supreme Council is the highest office in the country tasked with national policymaking in the area of culture, education, and research, which operates within the regime’s core policies. The decisions and resolutions adopted by this body are legally enforceable and equal to the law of the country. On 25 February 1991, a confidential document was signed and consequently a resolution was adopted by the Council which mandated the treatment of Baha’i citizens to governmental bodies, effectively preventing them from accessing higher education. The resolution also bans the employment of Baha’is in the public sector and government offices. Every year, numerous cases are reported of Baha’i citizens being deprived of their right to higher education. Even those students who are near to completing graduation requirements have been targeted and dismissed from universities. The policy is still in effect after four decades.
In 2018, Baha’i sources reported that 50 students were prevented from enrolling in universities, indicating that the number of Baha’i students being deprived of their rights is increasing.
On 5 January 2019, Sama Nazifi, an architecture student at Islamic Azad University, was banned from continuing her education and expelled.
Shirin Baninejad, a junior student at Azad University’s Andisheh-Sama College was expelled on 9 January 2019, for being a member of the Baha’i faith. The officials at the University informed her that she has been expelled one month prior.
Badee’ Safajoo, a senior chemical engineering student was expelled from Islamic Azad University’s Science and Research Branch on 9 January 2019, due to his Baha’i faith. He was apprehended during an exam and removed from the exam room. He was told that he has been expelled.
Shayan Ma’navi, a sophomore civil engineering student at Islamic Azad University’s Shahr-e Qods Branch, was expelled and banned from continuing his education. On 17 December 2018, before the start of exams, his portal on the university’s website was shut down. After considerable efforts in pursuing this matter, university officials told him on 10 January 2019, that he has been expelled due to his Baha’i faith.
Sepehr Shahidi-Ghamsari, a junior civil engineering student at Sina Higher Education Institute in Kashan, Isfahan, was expelled and banned from continuing his education. After considerable efforts in pursuing this matter, the Institute’s officials told him that he has been expelled for being Baha’i. Additionally, the Institute refused to issue his associate degree and his report card.