Wednesday 06 December 2006

Student activists: Death to despotism, Death to dictator

Iran Press News: Despite unprecedented security plans and repressive measures by the fascist regime of the Islamic republic to prevent the gathering commemorating the occasion of “students’ day”, students and brave Iranians who were informed about today’s protests showed that the university is still alive and despotism against religious tyranny blazes on.

According to received reports, today on this anniversary more than 4000 students of the Tehran University were able to gather; as they chanted slogans such as “Death to despotism” and “death to the dictators” they were battered by herds of the regime’s agents and disciplinary guards. The number of intelligence and security agents is reported to have been more than 5000.

The students who are enraged by censorship and suppression of the universities, clashed with the regime guards and broke down the gate of the technical school of Tehran university and entered.

The regime’s officials, agents and guards had put their security measures in place and had surrounded the entire area since early in the morning, bringing the campus under siege. Students had been threatened and told that if they gathered and continued their protest, they would be arrested. But student activists ignored the threats and escalated their protest.

After singing the popular student anthem “Yaar’eh Dabestaani” (old schoolmate) they began chanting slogans:
“Death to despotism”
“Death to the dictators”
“Political prisoners must be freed”
“Students with stars wear them like a medal of honor”
“Freedom, equality, boycott the elections”
“Students would rather die than to accept further abjectness”

The received reports from other cities also indicates that brave students in many other parts of Iran also took to demonstrating and protesting against the Islamic Republic.

In the city of Kerman more than 500 students gathered; in Shahr’eh-Kord more than 400 and cities such as Zahedan, Bandar-Abbass hundreds of student held demonstrations. Also in Tabriz universities, Zanján, Ghom, Karaj and Mazandaran similar demonstrations were held. Students of Sahand University in Tabriz chanted slogans such as “Student prisoners must be freed” and “If I rise and you rise, everyone will rise”. The student anthem Yaar’eh Dabestani was sung at every campus by all student protestors.

In the Tehran suburb of Karadj, hundreds of university students from the teachers’ training college organized a sit-in, protesting against the decision by the ministry of science and demanding that students who because of their political activities have been expelled from attending university and deprived of finishing their eduction, to be returned to school. Students protestors from the same university who had gathered in front of the college of sociology said their protest was against the existing cultural dictatorship in universities around the country. They demanded the unconditional return of the students who have been deprived of continuing their education and attending classes.

Students at the University in Ghom also organized a sit-in protest. Activist students said that more than 70 percent of the Ghom general university professors are active duty soldiers who are teaching for the first time and neither have the proper experience nor sufficient education. Students declared that they will not stop protesting till their demands are met.

In Mazandaran university student protest from the college of social sciences was accompanied by tension. One of the students by announcing the news said in the Tuesday gathering took place with the presence of more than 700 students; the disciplinary forces increased considerably and guards confiscated student identification cards.

Strict security measures in and around the university

According to Advaar News the news source from the office of Fostering Unity (Tahkim Vahdat) , following the call for student protest at Tehran University disciplinary and security forces were put in place from early on Wednesday morning and strict security measures were organized and stratigically mobilized in and around Tehran university.

Anti-riot police forces surrounded the area around Tehran University preventing students from approaching the campus, all the while a large number of students who were already there had begun gathering. The “Students with stars” carried placards which read “Continuing our education is our absolute right”.

The latest reports indicate that students who were inside the campus stomred the university gates from the inside and crashing through were able to allow those who had been forced to stay out to enter and join them. The ceremony began with a one hour delay.

Reportedly, disciplinary agents guarding the gates of Tehran university attacked and severely beat Ali Neekou-Bakhti, a member of the central committee of the office of fostering unity (Tahkim Vahdat) who was entering the university; he was however able to enter with the aid of the protestors who were inside.

Koochakzadeh, Tehran’s representative to the Islamic regime’s parliament (Majles) said: “Who said everyone has a right to an eduction? Who said getting an education is a right? Who said that you student activists should be allowed to study? [Students who are] American mercenaries have no right to get an education and all political activists are American mercenaries.”

On Tuesday morning, while entering the Majlis, Koochakzadeh was confronted by a gathering of more than 20 of the “students with stars” who had been there for several days to protest their expulsion from university, their prohibition from university registration due to their political activity or their membership in university student assemblies. Koochakzadeh spoke out violently, repeating the above comments to the group of protesting students. When he noticed the parliamentary news group reporter was writing down his remarks, screaming at the reporter, he said: “How dare you inscribe my words?”

The reporter who was trying to avoid a confrontation, attempted dropped what he was doing and began to walk away from the protest area but Kuchakzadeh followed him and ordered that the security forces arrest him. Thus the parliamentary reporter who only doing his job was arrested, his news identification card was confiscated and he was taken away.

*Stars are being given to students for punishment. "Students with stars" describes students who have been expelled or suspended from a university. The term became prevalent after several students said university officials had refused to register them for the new academic year, telling them that they have two or three stars. Student protestors and activists say more than 250 students have been affected thus far. The “admission committee” in charge of picking out the students who get the stars is made up agents of the ministry of intelligence and security of the Islamic regime.

*The Office of Fostering Unity, known in Farsi as Tahkim Vahdat, is the largest student organization in Iran which has mainly been a university students' organization. It was formed to support the rule of Ruhollah Khomeini. Tahkim Vahdat became one of the most vocal critics of hardliners in Iran and promoted a pro-reformist stance, supporting Khatami. Since the failure of the so-called reformists many of its governing members reamain "nationalist religionists have established their own movement; with some members promoting the separation of religion and state they remain faithful to Islam as their religion.

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