Sunday, December 09, 2007


Hundreds of Iranian students expressed their anger over a government crackdown on activists in a protest Sunday at Tehran University, the second such demonstration in less than a week, witnesses and state radio said. Students chanted against policies by Ahmadinejad's administration, which is imposing pressures on the universities and detaining activists. They were chanting “Down with Dictator”, “Student’s activists must be freed” etc. Students from other universities joined in the protest and broke one of the university's gates. Tehran state-run radio in a news brief confirmed that students held a protest at the university, saying the students chanted slogans against officials. It also said a group of non-students entered the university after breaking one of the gates but provided no other details. The media was not allowed to enter the campus. The protests were held to mark the National Day of Students, which has been celebrated since 1953 when three Iranian students were shot to death by police during a protest of a visit by then-Vice President Richard Nixon. State TV also announced Sunday that Iran's Intelligence Ministry had detained a group of activists it described as hecklers who planned to stage an illegal gathering at Tehran University. Quoting a statement by the ministry, the TV report said the activists, who came from various cities, entered the university using fake identification cards before they were detained. The report said intelligence officers confiscated concussion grenades, illegal books, pamphlets and alcoholic beverages from the detainees. In recent months, dissenters have witnessed an increasing crackdown, and hundreds have been rounded up. Numerous newspapers have been shut down and those that remain have been muted in their criticism fearing closure.


According to Associated France Press, the top United Nations human rights official on Friday voiced her "grave concern" at the execution of a young Iranian man convicted of rape amid reports a judge had ordered a stay of execution. Makwan Moloudzadeh, 20, was hanged on December 5th in a prison in Kermanshah Province for the alleged rape of three boys seven years ago, when he was 13. A local Iranian newspaper cited his lawyer as saying the execution was carried out in defiance of an order by the judiciary chief to stay the verdict, as well as claims his alleged victims had withdrawn their allegations. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said in a statement that Iran is a signatory to international conventions which forbid the execution of people who were under the age of 18 years at the time of the commission of the crimes. Arbour urged Iranian regime to "respect its international legal obligations and the strong international consensus against the execution of minors." The latest execution brings to at least 280 the number of people hanged in Iran this year, according to an AFP count compiled from local press reports. Many are hanged in public. Iran executed at least 177 people in 2006, according to Amnesty International. The Islamic republic is the most prolific applier of the death penalty in the world after China.

Associated France Press reported that Iranian regime plans to set up police stations run by women officers in the capital to deal only with offences committed by women, the Tehran Emrouz newspaper reported on Thursday. Fariba Shayegan, commander of the capital's women police academy of Kowsar, was quoted as saying that the authorities plan "probably to set up special police stations for women in Tehran." Two such police stations have already been launched in the religious, North eastern, city of Mashad, she said. Women police officers, who previously had been seen mostly in administrative departments, have been increasingly involved over the past few years in enforcement of observing Islamic rules in the treatment of female criminals. The most considerable presence of police women has been highlighted in the country's continuing crackdown on those flouting the Islamic dress code. Thousands of women have been warned this year, by joint crews of male and female officers, for wearing tight, short coats and skimpy headscarves.