Last Saturday, a protest by Azad University Central Tehran Branch students turned violent after altercations with Basij and security forces. Engineering students had gathered to protest against widespread arrests and expulsion of students from the campus.
As the day progressed and classes came to an end, students assembled, shouting Green Wave slogans like “Death to Dictator”, “We Support our brave students” and “All imprisoned students must be released”.
It is unclear how many people were arrested or injured in the crackdown because access to mobile phones was cut off. But this is not the first instance that a protest turns violent at Azad University.
Increasingly, students are reporting the presence of plainclothes paramilitary and police, monitoring departments with the consent of the dean.
In the last few days, protests and demonstrations spread to other campuses across the country. In a couple of cases, the protest occurred during a visit by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—in both cases, it was dealt with harshly, with protesters beaten and arbitrarily arrested.
In recent days, two top officials have publicly called for rigid application of the Islamic dress code on university campuses.
The dean of Tehran University announced a ban on female students who do not wear the hijab correctly.
Ayatollah Ahmad Janati, a hard-line cleric, welcomed the decision. During last Friday’s prayer, he said, “If students want to get a good mark, they must adhere to the rules of hijab.”
Janati, who is a staunch Ahmadinejad supporter, also called for strict adherence to hijab rules in government institutions as well as hospitals and other centres.