Iranian students to sue Norway over nuclear claims
Two Iranian students plan to take the Norwegian government to court after Oslo blocked university access for many Iranian students under the pretext that they might be learning nuclear weapons-related technology, Press TV reports.
Norwegian authorities have deprived dozens of Iranian students of university programs since 2012, claiming that Iran is sending young people to Western countries to learn how to make nuclear weapons.
Iranian students have rejected such allegations and emphasized that their studies have nothing to do with developing nuclear arms. They also called the move an act of discrimination.
Eight months after she was forced to return to Iran over visa denial in Norway, Hamideh Kaffash, a former PhD student at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, decided to go back to Norway and launch legal action against the European country’s officials.
“I, together with 13 Iranian students, got a letter from security police that we have to leave Norway because they think that we will gain some knowledge in Norway that might lead to making a weapon of mass destruction,” Kaffash said.
She was working on a project on reducing CO2 emissions in ferroalloy production.
“This alloy is completely safe and reducing CO2 emissions is known to everybody and it is a friendly environmental project,” she said.
Since 2012, more than 50 Iranian students in Norway have had similar experiences.
“Norway’s reputation is for being a free country. It’s really shocking that something like this is happening in Norway,” Kaffash said.
Together with another PhD student who shared similar experience, Kaffash managed to collect more than 12,000 signatures for a petition that was handed to the Norwegian government.
They are spearheading an online campaign, called Stop Educational Discrimination Against Iranians, which has now thousands of followers. They even managed to raise enough money to hire one of the best Norwegian lawyers to defend their case in court.
“Our lawyer said you will win in the court 80 percent, but now we have heard something that the court has said that there is some secret evidence that they cannot show this to us and our lawyer. It’s really ridiculous,” Kaffash said.
A Norwegian court is set to hold a hearing session on June 17th, which is scheduled to last for three days.
Adamant to fight to the end, the Iranian student said that even if she loses the court case in Norway, she will not stop her move. She is already prepared to take the case to the European Court of Justice.