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University Crackdowns, Neda's Broken Tombstone

Students protest on National Student Day in Isfahan on December 7, 2009
Students protest on National Student Day in Isfahan on December 7, 2009

Raids At Universities Intensify

Morteza Semyari, one of the leaders of Iran’s largest reformist student group, the Office to Foster Unity, was arrested on January 3, reported Amir Kabir Newsletter. Shortly before his arrest he had expressed his concerns about increasing crackdowns at universities to Radio Farda:

Referring to the bloody December 31 attack at Azad University, which left dozens injured and resulted in more than 200 arrests, Semyari said the way plainclothes agents attacked students with knives was similar to the 1998 chain killings during which the Forouhar family was assassinated in their home: “Over the past 30 years, plainclothes agents who use the government privileges have become so powerful that even the universities’ managements and Iran’s Ministry of Higher Education, who are responsible for students’ safety, cannot do anything.”

[listen in Farsi]

Neda’s Gravestone Desecrated

The fiancé of Neda Agha Soltan tells Radio Farda that Neda’s gravestone has been broken again. She was killed during a peaceful protest in June.

Caspian Makan, who was detained for a while before leaving Iran, adds, “Neda’s face, which was carved on her tombstone, was deliberately damaged.” He said this had been done by those who arrest, torture and kill innocent protesters: “What the Islamic Republic regime does to Neda’s tombstone is like shooting her again.”

[read/listen in Farsi]