NewsSpecial WireStudents, security forces clash in Iran capital

Students, security forces clash in Iran capital

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Mar. 14 – Police fired tear-gas and used force on Monday to disperse protesting students at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, eye-witnesses reported. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Mar. 14 – Police fired tear-gas and used force on Monday to disperse protesting students at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, eye-witnesses reported.

The disturbances broke out after hundreds of students tried to prevent the burial of three “unidentified martyrs” on the university campus. The students, many of them women, carried placards against the takeover of universities by Islamist groups affiliated to the Revolutionary Guards. These include the paramilitary Bassij Daneshjui and Jihad Daneshgahi.

The protestors chanted “students would rather die than be humiliated” as the whistled and clapped their hands. Students were soon joined by young people from outside the university, and a chorus of anti-government slogans began.

Security forces resorted to force to disperse the students, and when the protestors put up a strong resistance, they fired tear-gas. The students responded by throwing stones and the windows of several faculty buildings were broken.

In the ensuing violence, several students were beaten up. The chancellor of the university, an associate of hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who had backed the plan to bury the “unknown martyrs” in the university, was booed and jolted by the protesting students.

In the wake of Monday’s student protests in Sharif University, a government-organised campaign is targeting “seditious elements in the university who are manipulated by the enemies of the Islamic Republic”. Government-owned newspapers on Tuesday gave much prominence to statements by ultra-conservative associations and groups in condemnation of the protesting students.

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