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Tehran Students Protest President's Speech
October 12, 2007 15:50 GMT
(All photos from RFE/RL's Radio Farda, except photo of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad speaking at Tehran University, from ISNA.)
Hundreds of Tehran University students demonstrated against Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad on October 8 as he gave a speech at the school to a select group of students.
The students had prepapred a list of 20 questions they wanted President Ahmadinejad to answer about human-rights issues -- including about students banned for their political activities.
Among the signs demonstrators displayed were "We also have questions, Why only Columbia?" referring to the fact that the president answered questions from students while speaking at Columbia University in New York in September, but not in Tehran.
The protesters held up pictures of detained students and demanded their release as well as the reinstatement of some recently dismissed academics.
Students chanted slogans against the president and his government, such as "Death to the dictator! Death to the dictator!"
In December, a speech by Ahmadinejad at another university in Tehran was disrupted by students hurling firecrackers and burning his picture.
Ahmadinejad told his audience -- student members of the Basij, a national militia of government supporters -- that "today's materialist world" and the liberal democratic system are approaching their end, and have done little for humanity.
Students have accused Ahmadinejad of clamping down on dissent on university campuses, by dismissing students or academics for their political views.
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