Monday, February 4, 2008

Another Police Attack on Tehran University

While the Sunday police attack on students at Tehran University resulted in injuries to ten ‎of them and the arrest of more than five, University officials either remained silent about ‎the incident or complete denied it.‎
After the bloody police attack on students on July 9, 1999, Iran’s Supreme National ‎Security Council under the chairmanship of reformist president Mohammad Khatami ‎banned the intrusion of police into university campuses. To enter the campuses, the ‎police was required to first obtain the approval of the supervisory board and president of ‎the institution. Last Sunday’s event has raised this question for students: on what pretext ‎did the police enter the University and beat up students. Was the entry sanctioned by the ‎school’s supervisory board or was it yet another unilateral decision on behalf of the ‎police.‎
The largest student organization Daftare Tahkim Vahdat issued a statement on the ‎incident and labeled the police’s entry into the campus as an “illegal” act, for which they ‎have filed a complained. “Following the protests of students over the condition of the ‎food that is provided by the school, plainclothes and uniformed police entered Tehran ‎University on Sunday and injured more than 10 students, while arresting between 3 to 5 ‎of them. The police intervention took place as the students had almost ended their ‎gathering who were on their way to their dormitories,” the statement read.‎
‎“Anti-riot police began entering the technical school at about 9:30pm on Sunday,” ‎according to Payman Arif, a student activist who confirmed that about 500 students had ‎gathered to protest the quality of the food provided by the school. Amir Kabir University ‎newsletter wrote that over 70 anti-riot police officers positioned themselves on Amirabad ‎street outside the university, along with other plainclothes police. The police booed the ‎students in response to the latter’s anti-police cries, and marched in front of their ‎dormitory buildings. According to the newsletter, following the police attack, the number ‎of participants in the gathering increased to a thousand people. At that time, students ‎shouted slogans against some officials of the Islamic Republic. The students also engaged ‎in throwing stones at the police outside the campus, forcing the police to take guard and ‎retreat from their positions. Scuffles followed and the students dispersed after the police ‎attacked them, into the early hours of Monday.‎

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