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Groups Call For Release Of Iranian Protestors

Police on the streets of Tehran ahead of annual student protests Prague, 8 July 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Leading human rights groups are calling on Iran to release student protesters detained in violent demonstrations that erupted in Tehran five years ago following an 8 July 1999 (18 Tir) raid on a Tehran University dormitory.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International both released statements today calling on Iranian authorities to release an unknown number of students remaining in custody out of the thousands authorities claimed to have initially arrested.

The groups are also calling on Iranian authorities to undertake independent judicial reviews of the trials of convicted demonstrators, and want to see Iranian authorities open investigations of allegations of torture made by some of the prisoners.

In July 1999, pro-democracy students clashed with police in cities across Iran after a police crackdown at a student protest on 18 Tir. One student was killed and hundreds of other people were injured in the violence.

(Amnesty International/AP)