12/05/2009, 00.00
Send to a friend

Tehran University under siege. Students: "We are at war"

Government officials have launched a massive campaign of repression, with arrests and convictions. Pro-Western courses replaced with Islamic theology. Female students who wear clothes considered too colourful, punished. On 7 December, an anti-government demonstration planned, which could lead to fresh violence.

Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Iranian authorities have laid siege to the universities in the country, with a wave of arrests and expulsions. The government intends to eradicate the new wave of dissent on the eve of a massive student protest scheduled for 7 December. Dress codes for women inspired by Islamic morals are imposed, even the length young men’s hair is regulated, considered a sign of political dissent against the regime of the Ayatollahs.

Students hired by the Basij militia, the "volunteers of the revolution", indicate fellow students suspected of collusion with the opposition movements. On 3 December, the police promised "harsh repression" if protesters will expand the demonstration outside the campus: all gatherings are considered "illegal" and the agents will take the "necessary countermeasures".

The government intends to control not only security, but also "ideas" that circulate within universities. Some lessons are considered too pro-Western and have been replaced by seminars of Islamic theology. Sources inside the Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, report that members of Herasat, the feared morality police in universities, have stopped girls who wear clothes considered too colourful or who wear he veil in an unacceptable fashion. Goudarzi, 23 year old student of aerospace engineering, was expelled for having spoken to a BBC journalist.

An anti-government demonstration is planned for 7 December, but, at the moment, it is unclear if it will remain confined to the campus or will pour through the streets of the capital. The commemorates the murder of three students in 1953, protesting against the U.S. presence in the country. Since 1990, dissidents promote counter-demonstrations for democracy and reform in Iran, a nation in which universities and students have always played a major role in the protests.

Opposition websites say that the authorities in Tehran have deployed hundreds of security forces, coming from neighbouring provinces. In recent weeks more than 100 students were arrested. Many of them were tried by the Revolutionary courts and sentenced to prison.

Mehdi Arabshahi, 28-year-old postgraduate, says: "We are at war." On the one hand the authorities, "prevent the protests", on the other students, who continue the anti-government campaign launched in the aftermath of presidential elections on 12 June. Meanwhile, the Basij militia have increased payment for the students and promised a bounty for anyone who provides evidence of the dissidents or counter-revolutionary activities.

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Church leads the way in helping Vietnam cope with its educational emergency
11/03/2016 17:00
Opposition challenges Khamenei: on with the demonstrations
Tehran steps up crackdown as protest continues
Kharroubi cancels the ceremony in memory of victims of repression in Tehran
Iranian schools to encourage "culture of martyrdom"


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”