Iran Students Protest Over Increased Restrictions
Stone-throwing Iranian students fought police and Islamic vigilantes on Wednesday in protest against restrictions imposed by the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, witnesses said. Students who covered their faces with scarves lit fires outside dormitories through Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, photographs showed. By dawn the streets were littered with hundreds of stones they had thrown. READ MORE
Police spokesman Mohammad Tourang told the ISNA students news agency five policemen had been injured in the clashes and that the police made an unspecified number of arrests.
Senior student leader Abdollah Momeni said up to 2,000 students had gathered for the protest over the expulsion of some students and the way authorities had been handling critics. He added 20 had been seized by Islamic vigilantes who broke into the dormitories.
"The main reason for the objections in recent days goes back to the limitations imposed on universities and political students after the new government came to power," Momeni said.
Religious conservative Ahmadinejad was inaugurated in August.
"Some active students have been expelled and some students face mass summons before disciplinary committees. We are also objecting to recent dealings with critical professors such as Ramin Jahanbegloo," he added.
Iran earlier this month said it had arrested philosopher Jahanbegloo on charges of espionage. He specialized in liberal political philosophy and worked extensively on developing understanding between Iran and the West.
Other student witnesses said the crowd had chanted "Down with despotism" and hurled stones at police cars outside the dormitories, breaking their windows.
Iran's last major nationwide student demonstrations were in 2003, when hundreds of students were arrested.