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Iran: Students Demonstrate For Press Freedom

Tehran, 26 April 2000 (RFE/RL) - Students in several major Iranian cities today staged peaceful protests over the recent banning of more than a dozen liberal newspapers. The students boycotted classes at Tehran's technical university. Rallies were also held at campuses in five other cities, including Shiraz in the south. Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, the editor of the banned daily "Gozareh-e Rooz," told RFER/RL's Persian Service yesterday that the students want to avoid unrest.

"Every society has its own threshold for dealing with oppression and force; they will be patient up to a point. [Last year] they were patient [and] they are not scared now. They want to maintain unity and order."

Last year, a crackdown on a leading reformist paper fueled nationwide unrest when hardline vigilantes attacked students demanding greater press freedom.