Majid Tavakoli, a prominent Iranian student leader was released on bail on Monday for the first time in four years. Family members say Majid may go back to jail in few days.
Tavakoli's arrest on December 2009, after criticizing the Iranian government while at Amir Kabir university, created a strong online protest campaign to counterattack the regime's attempt to humiliate him by claiming he had fled from authorities dressed as a woman after delivering a Student Day speech.
Hundreds of Iranian men dressed as women in their Facebook profiles to support Tavakoli and express their solidarity with women.
Social pressure for release?
Blogger Kermeki talks about what kind of pressure may have had an impact on Tavakoli's temporary release. Advancing Human Rights executive director David Keyes, publicly asked the Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, when Majid Tavakoli would be freed and he replied that he had never heard of him. Kermeki believe that this, along with social media campaigns, played a role in his release. Zarif has a presence on Facebook (which is banned in Iran) and internet users have also been raising awareness about Tavakoli there.
A video shared on YouTube, shows students at Amir Kabri University immediately celebrating his release at a rally with songs and banners:
Blogger Harf Rishe says [fa]:
Majid Tavakoli means that the Green Movement is alive.
Majid Tavakoli means that four years passed, for one person in the presidential palace [meaning former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad]
Majid Tavakoli means that the Green Movement is not a political party that needs Khamenei‘s permission to exist.
The blogger adds that if we truly believe in it, we can be the heart of Green Movement too. Leaders of the Green Movement are still under house arrest following massive protests after the controversial 2009 presidential election.