Iranian Students Protest Jail Sentences For Classmates
October 22, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Students at Tehran's Amir Kabir
University demonstrated today against the prison sentences handed down to three
fellow students for allegedly insulting Islam.
Students protesting at Amir Kabir University
photo: Amir Kabir University of Technology News (autnews.com)
A witness told
Radio Farda that attendees also protested the arrest of leading human rights
activists Emad Baqi and pro-reform cleric Hadi Ghabel.
Mansuri, Majid Tavakoli, and Ahmad Ghasaban were sentenced on October 17 to
prison terms of up to three years over comments published in a school
newsletter. They were charged with "insulting Islam's sanctities and its
Reformist student groups have rejected the charges as
"fabricated" and the sentences as "unfair." They say their classmates are the
latest victims of a government crackdown on dissent on university
One of the students who participated in today's protest told
Radio Farda that the speakers included students from other universities -- all
of them calling for the release of Mansuri, Ghasaban, and Tavakoli. Nariman
Mostafavi said the event took place under tight security and that skirmishes
broke out when students insisted on gathering for the protest:
2,000 people took part" in the event today, Mostafavi said. "University
officials tried very hard to prevent it from taking place. Beginning this
morning, they weren't letting student activists from Amir Kabir enter the
university -- they wanted to prevent the event from taking place. Students
insisted and there were clashes with the university's security forces, who beat
up students. But some students were able to enter the university and the event
It was impossible to confirm Mostafavi's crowd estimate, but
photos from the event show at least several hundred young people in attendance.
In recent months, Tehran's Amir Kabir University has been the scene of
several rallies to protest government pressure on student activists.
December, Amir Kabir students protested during a visit by President Mahmud
Ahmadinejad, including chants suggesting he was a "dictator."
8, dozens of students chanted anti-Ahmadinejad slogans and scuffled with
presidential supporters on the campus of Tehran University while Ahmadinejad
spoke at the school.
(with material from autnews.com)
Copyright (c) 2007 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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