Iran General NewsIran arrests four students for 'insulting authorities'

Iran arrests four students for ‘insulting authorities’


ImageAFP: Four Iranian students have been arrested on charges of offending the Islamic republic's authorities in the southern city of Shiraz, local press reported on Monday.

ImageTEHRAN, January 12, 2009 (AFP) – Four Iranian students have been arrested on charges of offending the Islamic republic's authorities in the southern city of Shiraz, local press reported on Monday.

"These students had insulted the system and authorities on December 6 and 7 on the pretext of Student Day," Shiraz public and revolutionary prosecutor, Jaber Banshi, was quoted as saying by the Kayhan newspaper.

"After this was reported a judicial warrant was immediately issued and they were arrested," he said, adding that the four will be bailed out after the completion of investigations.

Some students of Shiraz University had held an "illegal gathering" on Student Day, Kayhan said.

The Etemad Melli newspaper identified the students as Saeed Khalatbari, Enayat Taghavi, Abbas Rahmati and Ahmad Kohansal.

The web-based newsletter of Tehran's Amir Kabir University, also speaking of events at Shiraz, said that the gathering was to protest against "seizing the (occasion of) Student Day by governmental institutions and using it in their own interest, and creation of suppression and suffocation in society and university."

Student Day marks the anniversary of the killing of three Iranian students, by the government of the deposed shah in the 1950s, in a protest against the visit by then US vice president Richard Nixon.

The newsletter said that the number of the arrested students, "held in the custody of intelligence ministry", was six.

The arrests followed an incident during the visit of parliament speaker Ali Larijani to the prestigious Shiraz university, it said giving an Internet link that shows footages of a student's speech.

In the speech held before Larijani, a male student lashed out at the speaker as well as at President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Tree Iranian students were released in August after spending more than a year in jail on charges that included allegedly insulting Islam.

Reformist students have complained of increasing political pressure on universities under Ahmadinejad and the exclusion of liberal-minded professors from teaching.

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