Skip to comments.IRANIAN OFFICIALS FINALLY ADMIT THE IMPORTANCE OF STUDENTS PROTESTS
Posted on 06/27/2003 4:35:16 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
Iran's Prosecutor General Ayatollah Abdonnabi Namazi confirmed Friday that more than 4,000 people, including "some students", had been arrested during the twelve-days long students-popular protests against the Islamic Republic and its clerical rulers.
"Out of the 4.000 detained, 40 per cent of them had been released immediately", the regimes Public Prosecutor said, confirming what the students had claimed constantly and contrasting with the figures released by the Government, giving the number of the arrested people at more than 500.
Analysts said the new number of the detainees confirms that the protest movement that saw a number of taboos broken, like the chants of "death to KhamenehI or slogans calling on the powerless President Mohammad Khatami to resign, had been larger than authorities would acknowledged.
"That's a lot of (arrested) people. It just shows that these protests were actually quite large and widespread", the British news agency Reuters quoted one local analyst who declined to be named.
The demonstrations started in Tehran about three weeks ago with hundreds of students protesting a government project to privatise universities, but it quickly became highly political after pressure groups controlled by the ruling conservatives attacked the protesters who, in turn, were joined by thousand of ordinary people coming out each night to defend them, chanting slogans against Iran's clerical rulers and called for greater democracy and freedom.
The protests, which included harsh criticism of President Mohammad Khatami, but particularly the leader of the regime, spread to more than half a dozen other cities, resulting in fierce street battles between the students, the people who supported them with Islamic vigilante thugs and the Basij militias, who are fiercely loyal to Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i and conservative clerics, resulting in hundreds of wounded and at least one students killed in Shiraz.
Namazi told the independent students news agency ISNA that out of the 60 per cent of the detainees, some 800 are students from Tehran alone.
The authorities describes the detainees as "hooligans and trouble-makers", but students say most of the arrests have been made by plainclothes men and islamist vigilantes on orders from the leader-controlled Judiciary and taken to undisclosed detention centres.
In a recent open letter to President Mohammad Khatami, 106 students warned the ruling officials that if they confront the students movement, the whole of the nation would face a "gave calamity".
"This is the our last word in a series of dialogue between the students movement and the leadership of the Islamic Republic. If broken, the whole of the nation will face a big calamity, so hurry before it is too late", the signatories said, warning that any confrontation between the students with "a regime that is about to be void of legitimacy" would have "grave consequences for all the elected and un-elected seated in power".
The letter, unprecedented in its strong wording, was an answer to an earlier statement by Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi calling on the Judiciary to deal with the protesters as "moharebs", an Arabic word meaning those who fight the God, -- an accusation that carries capital punishment according to the Islamic Canon -- and not as "opponents".
The students also want to organise public meetings commemorating the massacre of 9 July 1999 revolt against the regime, but the government of Mr.Khatami has refused to give authorisation.
"The high-ranking security officials believe July 9 is an event that does not need an anniversary. An incident which happened some years ago does not require an event to be held to commemorate it", Mr. Namazi said.
Asked if the students would go ahead with their plans for 9 July, Mr. Peyman Ansari, a students leader said "we have to".
"The students movement for freedom and democracy never stopped and the present wave of crackdown would not stopped it either, for the time for the rulers to suppress freedom movements is over", he told the Persian service of Radio France International (RFI).
As Tehran Public Prosecutor Said Mortazavi said that investigations are underway to see if some lawmakers encouraged the students, reformist legislators criticised Mr. Khatami for not taking a firmer stand against the wave of recent arrests.
"As a president who has the duty to apply the Constitution, you can not remain silent to abductions in the streets, to detention of people in prisons no one knows anything about them, to arbitrary arrests by unidentified men", the students told Mr. Khatami.
According to Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, the Secretary of the leader-controlled Council of the Guardians, most of the detainees are "thugs, thieves, drug smugglers, street rubbers, beggars and hooligans" and a few students.
Speaking during the traditional Friday prayers in Tehran, Mr. Jannati, who directly controls some of the pressure groups like the "Ansar Hezbollah", also called on the Judiciary to deal "firmly" with those behind the recent anti-regime demonstrations that, in his words, were "prepared" by the Americans and the British.
ENDS STUDENTS UNRESTS 27603
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Iranian Alert -- DAY 18 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST Live Thread Ping List | 6.27.2003 Posted on 06/27/2003 12:03 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
BWAAAHAHAHAHA! Maybe he can impress them with his worthless Not-so-noval prize.
I agree. When students make up only 10% of the demonstrators, you might think the media would want to mention that. There is an upside of them calling this a student protest movement. Their Islamic revolution was very intitated by the students and the regime has been very proud of this fact. It gave them a kind of legitimacy. Students protesting today is very embarassing to them.
Rest up, my friend...next week could be a long week.