A student gathering held at Tehran
University dormitory turned violent Thursday night and spread to the
nearby streets, IRNA reported from Tehran.
Hundreds of students residing at the Tehran University hostel
held a gathering at the central square of the hostel complex at the
invitation of the Islamic Association of Tehran University and the
Medical Sciences University.
Chancellors of the two universities attended the meeting to
respond the questions posed by the students on the recent incidents
in the hostel and student affairs.
Demonstrations were held at Tehran University dormitory on
Tuesday and Wednesday nights in protest against a plan to privatize
The students took to the streets on Tuesday evening with certain
demands which turned political when others joined them.
The demonstration lasted until late midnight and the police
intervened to disperse the demonstrators.
Minister of Science and Technology unveiled a plan to privatize
universities requiring the students to pay tuition fees causing dismay
among the students who could not afford to.
The Constitution has envisaged free education for the public and
the government is responsible for running the administration of
universities and provide fund for them in addition to benefits for
During Thursday night gathering, Tehran University Chancellor
Reza Faraji Dana called on the students to realize the sensitive
condition of the country and avoid aggravating the existing problems.
"The students should be seeking negation of violence and
resolving their social problems through proper mechanisms," he said.
The gathering had not ended when about 200 students left the
session and started marching towards the main gate of the complex
singing a political student song called "Yar-e Dabestani
(My school classmate)".
The complex guards did not let the students leave the complex so
they started chanting slogans from behind the bars of the hostel.
A number of people who had gathered outside the complex
started chanting slogans in support of the students inside and this
caused a clash with a group known as the plainclothes outside
The instigations of last night and this morning spread to the
nearby streets and anti-riot police was summoned to help control
The police prevented trafficking of motorcycles to the complex
during the unrest which lasted for several hours, and used tear gas to
disperse the people.
Different groups started throwing stones towards each other in
the incidents of Thursday night and Friday morning, as a result of
which a number of people were injured and window panes of several
shops and houses broken.
Another report indicates that a number of students at the
Shahid Beheshti University hostel also staged protests on Thursday
night and Friday morning. Policemen were stationed in the area to calm
down the situation.
The violence continued until Friday morning and the situation
became calm early in the morning at Tehran University hostel .
No reports have been received on the number of injured or
... Payvand News - 6/13/03 ... --