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Iranian Students Tried For Alleged Sacrilege

Source: RFE/RL

Three students of Tehran's Amir Kabir University, currently jailed for alleged sacrilege and "insulting the president," were tried in a closed court session on November 14, with their families barred from the courtroom, Radio Farda reported, citing their lawyer, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah.


Dadkhah told Radio Farda that the judiciary earlier promised an open trial for the students -- Majid Tavakkoli, Ehsan Mansuri, and Ahmad Qassaban -- who have rejected their charges (see "RFE/RL Newsline," October 16, 18, and 26, 2007).


Dadkhah said he told the court that Iran's most senior clerics have issued religious edicts specifying that students cannot be prosecuted on such charges, and expressed hope that the charges might be dropped.


When asked if the students were beaten or mistreated before going to court, as reported in some media, Dadkhah did not confirm the allegations, but said they were handcuffed like common criminals, which he said is not in keeping with their alleged offences. He said he has not been able to see his clients regularly during their detention.


Unrest, Demonstrations Reported At Several Iranian Universities


Students at several Iranian universities have staged sit-ins or other demonstrations in recent days to protest against campus restrictions and penalties, the daily "Etemad" reported on November 15. It reported unrest at universities in Shahrud, Ahwaz, Isfahan, and at Tehran's Amir Kabir and Allameh Tabatabai universities.


Students were reportedly protesting against increasing restrictions on student groups and publications, suspensions, expulsions, and one suspected detention. In Shahrud, in Semnan Province east of Tehran, hundreds of students have held four sit-ins in the past month, most recently on November 12, the daily reported.


The same day, about 100 Amir Kabir University students staged a sit-in to protest over the possible detention of a female student. Her department head has written to university chief Alireza Rahai to express concern at her absence from her classes for almost three weeks, and the fact that enquiries on her condition or whereabouts have not been answered, "Etemad" reported.

Copyright (c) 2007 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

... Payvand News - 11/16/07 ... --

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