August 29, 2022
At least one person was arrested on Saturday after security forces attacked protesters to disrupt a gathering against the Islamic Republic’s compulsory military service.
A group of university students held the demonstration in front of Iran’s Public Conscription Organization in downtown Tehran.
They were holding placards bearing slogans against the mandatory service such as “Modern Slavery,” “Conscripts have no voice,” “Military service: a factory for manufacturing frustration,” and “Two years of forced imprisonment.”
Mohammad Eskandari, the secretary of the so-called Student Justice Movement – the NGO which had organized the gathering – was arrested during the crackdown.
Many people are critical of the compulsory nature of the service and its physical and psychological pressures on the conscripts, which in some cases lead to suicide or violent acts.
In March, a young military conscript embarked on a killing spree in one of the barracks in the southern province of Bushehr, killing four of his fellow servicemen after his request for leave was denied.
Earlier in the year, Iran canceled the buy-out scheme for compulsory military service, just one day after it was reported following widespread criticism by citizens and officials. Only wealthy families could afford to buy out their sons military service.
According to Iran’s constitution, all men over 18 years old must serve in the military for about two years, otherwise they cannot apply for a passport to leave the country. Most are drafted into the traditional Army, but some with the right connections serve with the Revolutionary Guard where conditions are much better.