Students defy Iran protest ultimatum, unrest enters more dangerous phase

  • Protests show no sign of abating amid dire state warnings.
  • University students clashed with security forces.
  • Journalists asked for the release of their imprisoned colleagues
  • Rights activists announced that the students were arrested

Dubai, October 30, 2010 (AFP) – Weeks of protests in Iran turned violent on Sunday as students defied the orders of the Revolutionary Guards and were met with tear gas, beatings and gunfire by police and militia, social media videos showed.

The clashes at dozens of universities are threatening to crack down on the seventh week of protests after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was arrested by the ethics police for allegedly dressing inappropriately.

Since Amini’s death, Iranians from all walks of life have been protesting.

What began as anger over Amini’s death on September 16 has become one of the sharpest challenges to clerical rulers since the 1979 revolution, with some opposition calling for the death of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The top commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards told protesters that Saturday was their last day to take to the streets, in the heaviest warning yet from Iranian officials.

However, videos on social media, which were not verified by Reuters, showed clashes between students and riot police and brigade forces at universities across Iran on Sunday.

A video shows a member of the Basij force firing a gun at close range at protesting students at a branch of Azad University in Tehran. Gunshots were also heard in a video released by the rights group HENGAW at the Kurdistan University protest in Sanandaj.

Also Read :  Kherson: Russians shell Ukraine city just two weeks after pulling out

Videos from universities in some other cities also show BAJ forces opening fire on students.

Across the country, security forces attempted to block students from university buildings, firing tear gas and beating protesters with batons. The students, seemingly unarmed, pushed back, some chanting “Dishonored Basij” and “Death to Khamenei”.

Cracked history

Social media reported that at least a dozen doctors, journalists and artists had been arrested since Saturday.

According to the activist HRANA news agency, 283 protesters, including 44 minors, were killed in the violence on Saturday. Some 34 security forces were also killed.

He stated that more than 14,000 people, including 253 students, were arrested during protests in 132 cities and 122 universities.

The Guards and allied Bazij forces have previously crushed resistance. On Sunday, they said they were being insulted by “rioters” in universities and on the streets, and warned that they could use more force if the anti-government uprising continued.

Brigadier General Mohammadreza Mahadavi, head of the Revolutionary Guards in Khorasan Junubi province, said: “So far, the Bajijis have been able to control themselves and remain patient,” state news agency IRNA reported.

Also Read :  Ukraine embassy, Spanish arms company receive letter bombs -police

But if the situation continues, it will be out of our control.

Journalists appeal

More than 300 Iranian journalists called for the release of two of their colleagues jailed for reporting on Amini in a statement published in Iranian Itemaad and other newspapers on Sunday.

Nilofar Hamedi photographed Amini’s parents hugging each other in a Tehran hospital where their daughter lies in a coma.

Amini was arrested three days ago by Iran’s ethics police for inappropriately dressing, the first time Hamdi’s tweet showed the world that it was not good for the world.

Elaheh Mohammadi covered Amin’s funeral in his Kurdish hometown of Saqqez, where the protests began. Iran’s intelligence ministry and Revolutionary Guards intelligence agency issued a joint statement on Friday accusing Hamedi and Mohammadi of being foreign agents of the CIA.

The arrest matches the official narrative that Iran’s arch-enemy, the United States, Israel and other Western powers and their local proxies are behind the violence and are bent on destabilizing the country.

At least 40 journalists have been detained in the past six weeks, according to human rights organizations.

In the year In 1979, when the Islamic Republic came to power, students and women played a major role in burning their veils.

Also Read :  As world population hits 8 billion, China frets over too few babies

An official said on Sunday that the establishment had no plans to move away from the mandatory veil, but said it had to be “prudent” about enforcement.

“Lifting the veil is against our law and this headquarters will not back down,” Ali Khanmohammadi, a spokesman for Iran’s deputy headquarters for the promotion and protection of virtue, told KabarOnline.

“However, our actions must be wise so that we do not give our enemies a reason to use it against us.”

The hint of compromise did not seem to please the demonstrators, many of whose demands went beyond a change in dress code to calls for an end to clerical rule.

In a further effort to defuse the situation, the Speaker of the Parliament, Mohammad Bakr Qalibaf, said that it is right for people to call for change if they distance themselves from the “criminals” who take to the streets.

“We believe that the protests are valid and a reason for development, but we believe that these social movements will change policies and decisions, as long as they are not separated from rebellious people, criminals and separatists,” he said using officials. Commonly used for opponents.

Writing by Michael Giorgi; Editing by Nick Macfie, Philippa Fletcher and Angus MacSwan

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

Back to top button