Students tell Iran’s president to ‘get lost’ as unrest rages

DUBAI (Reuters) – Female students in Tehran chanted “Fah” as Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi visited their university campus on Saturday and condemned angry protesters over the death of a young woman in custody, activists said.

As the patriotic demonstrations that rocked Iran entered their fourth week, my two chiefs addressed professors and students at Al-Zahra University in Tehran, reciting a poem that equated “rioters” with flies.

“They imagine that they can achieve their evil aims in universities,” state television reported. “Unbeknownst to them, our students and professors are vigilant and will not allow the enemy to achieve their evil aims.”

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A video posted on Twitter by activist website 1500tasvir showed what it said were female students chanting “My president is lost” and “Mullahs have gone astray” while the president was visiting their campus.

Iranian state media said, on Friday, that a report by a government forensic doctor denied the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini due to blows to the head and limbs while she was being held by the morality police, and linked her death to pre-existing medical conditions.

Amini, an Iranian Kurd, was arrested in Tehran on 13 September for wearing “indecent clothes,” and died three days later.

Her death sparked nationwide protests, presenting the biggest challenge to Iran’s religious leaders in years.

Women have removed their headscarves in defiance of the clerical establishment as angry crowds called for the downfall of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The government described the protests as a plot by Iran’s enemies, including the United States, and accused armed opponents – among others – of perpetrating violence that killed at least 20 members of the security forces.

Rights groups say more than 150 people have been killed, hundreds wounded, and security forces arrested in the face of the protests.

After a call for mass demonstrations on Saturday, security forces shot protesters and used tear gas in the Kurdish cities of Sanandaj and Saqez, according to the Iranian human rights organization Hengao.

And in Sanandaj, the capital of the Kurdistan region in northwestern Kurdistan, a man was killed in his car while a woman shouted “rude,” according to Hengao, who said he was shot by security forces after he blew his horn as a sign of protest.

But a senior police officer reiterated the security forces’ claim that they did not use live bullets and that the man was killed by “counter-revolutionaries” (armed defectors), the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

“Woman, Life, Freedom”

Hingao also broadcast a video of emergency personnel trying to revive a person, and said that one protester died after being shot in the stomach by security forces in Sanandaj. Reuters was unable to verify the video.

Hengao reported that a school in Sags Town Square was filled with schoolgirls and chanted “Woman, life, freedom.”

The widely followed 1500tasvir Twitter account also reported the shooting of protesters in the two Kurdish cities in the northwest of the country.

A university student who was on his way to join the protests in Tehran said he did not fear arrest or even death.

“They can kill and arrest us but we will not be silent anymore. Our classmates are in prison. How can we remain silent?” The student, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

Hengao said large-scale strikes are taking place in the cities of Saqqaz, Dewandara, Mahabad and Sanandaj.

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Reporting from the Dubai Newsroom. Written by Michael Georgi Edited by Russell

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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