Iran General NewsIran students stage hunger strike protest: report

Iran students stage hunger strike protest: report

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ImageAFP: Seventeen Iranian students have been hospitalised after going on a hunger strike to protest strict rules at a university in the northwestern city of Tabriz, press reported Wednesday.

ImageTEHRAN (AFP) — Seventeen Iranian students have been hospitalised after going on a hunger strike to protest strict rules at a university in the northwestern city of Tabriz, press reported Wednesday.

More than a hundred of students at Sahand University have staged a sit-in for a week against "restrictions at the university, an increased number of disciplinary decrees and student union issues," the Etemad newspaper said.

The exact nature of the measures was not clear but students involved in leftist political activism are occasionally banned from attending classes for lengthy periods of time.

"It is pitiful that the university head, after more than 80 hours of hunger striking by our friends and the admission of 17 of them to hospital, still does not take responsibility for the insults and mistakes of his deputies," said a protestor statement quoted by the newspaper.

Pictures published on Tehran's Amir Kabir University website showed scenes of ambulances carrying the students and a banner written by them asking one of the universities directors for cultural affairs to resign.

The letter, addressed to Minister of Science, Research and Technology Mohammad Mehdi Zahedi, blamed the head of the university for ignoring the petition signed by more than 500 students against his deputy.

"Isn't giving tough decrees by the disciplinary committee the result of negligence of the authorities to the future of these students?" the letter said, asking for the minister to intervene to solve their problems.

Iranian universities have occasionally been the scene of students protests against restrictions imposed by officials in particular over political activities.

The jail terms handed to three students of the prestigious Amir Kabir University has been a major grievance of colleagues who held regular campus demonstrations at Tehran's main universities in 2007.

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