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December 10, 2007
Iranian Students Protest Ahmadinejad
Chanting "Live free or die," Iranian students tore down the gate in front of Tehran University and rallied against President Ahmadinejad and the regime's treatment of women:
They wrecked the iron-barred gates and threw stones at police, according to Iranian state radio, which said the protest ended peacefully. That last is a real laugher. Ahmadinejad has made it very plain that his idea of free speech and "constructive" opposition does not include speaking out against the regime or opposing any of his plans. Recent protests by female teachers in the streets asking for more pay were crushed by the religious police who brutally beat and arrested around 1000 protestors. Clearly, there is free speech...and then there is "free speech" in Ahmadinejad's Iran.
Tehran University is the largest and one of the oldest universities in Iran. Student protests have been rare in recent years. Western rights groups have accused Iran of banning dissent. But there was a demonstration in Tehran last month against the detention of three students who were picked up during a protest at another Iranian university a week earlier.
Some of the placards yesterday named the arrested students. Professors have joined them in criticising Ahmadinejad for clamping down on dissent on campuses. The president and his government say they "support free speech and welcome constructive opposition.