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Iran: Supreme Leader Says Students Should Be Shown 'Compassion'

Tehran, 5 August 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei today endorsed a proposal to show "Islamic compassion" to students who were detained during a recent wave of political protests in Iran. The official ISNA news agency reported that Khamenei approved the general terms of a request made by two university representatives. Some observers interpret the approval as granting an amnesty for the students.

However, it is not clear whether such an amnesty would apply only to repentant students or to all those detained. About 100 detained students are due to go on trial this week.

The students were detained in June and July during protests calling for the resignation of the government and greater political freedom.