NewsSpecial WireFestival in Iran turns into protest

Festival in Iran turns into protest

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Mar. 07 – The ending ceremony of the sixth national student newspaper festival turned into a demonstration yesterday as over 1,000 students from universities across the city of Mashad (northeast Iran) heckled the regime’s Minister of Health, forcing him to flee the event. Students took the podium and jeered the government minister, shouting slogans and demanding the release of political prisoners and an end to the crackdown on students in Iran’s universities. Iran Focus

Tehran, Mar. 07 – The ending ceremony of the sixth national student newspaper festival turned into a demonstration yesterday as over 1,000 students from universities across the city of Mashad (northeast Iran) heckled the regime’s Minister of Health, forcing him to flee the event.

Students took the podium and jeered the government minister, shouting slogans and demanding the release of political prisoners and an end to the crackdown on students in Iran’s universities.

Participants punched the air with their fists as they sang patriotic anthems at the university campus and read out a statement which said in part, “As protesting students we express our outrage at the verdicts by the judiciary against lecturers and students and condemn such verdicts”.

They also announced in their statement that the festival itself was stage-managed by the authorities and, contrary to what had been announced, students had no part in organising it. They condemned the current segregation program being carried out in Mashad’s universities.

Many held banners calling for an end to the clerical regime in power, during the demonstration which lasted several hours.

They also disrupted the Health Minister’s speech outside the Teacher’s Training College in Mashad, which was set to take place only after the minister was forced out of the original ceremony. The minister was prevented from speaking outside the college and finally left the scene altogether, according to eye-witnesses.

A similar smaller protest took place on the second day of the festival.

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