Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Basij forces enter Azad University

Police were stationed outside Tehran's Azad University and Basij forces entered the main building to prevent student demonstrations today.

According to a student leader contacted by Radio Farda, Azad University students had made plans days ago for a protest on Tuesday. But about one hundred Basijis from Amir Kabir, Science and Industry, and Tehran universities were bused in today, ostensibly for a ceremony at Azad Universy's mosque marking the martyrdom of the 6th Imam. Once the mosque ceremony ended, the Basijis began insulting Azad University students and chanting 'Death to hypocrites!' The Basijis allegedly assaulted several students, but were soon overwhelmed by some 2,000 students who left their classes at noon break. Police and plainclothesmen were called in later in the day. They checked the mobile telephones of students as they left the campus. Nevertheless footage of the events managed to make its way onto the Internet.

This footage was filmed outside the university and shows security forces stationed on the street.

'Free thought is not possible with beards and whiskers!' 'Ahmadi, you clown, the 63% is here!' 'Long live Mousavi, may Karroubi stand long!' 'Oil money has been lost, it's been used to pay for Basijis!'

Black-clad Basij goons rough up a student in a classroom. Old habits die hard even when you're being filmed:

'Ahmadi you midget, you still call this football!?' (Referring to Ahmadinejad's comments on June 14, when he said that the protesters were like football hooligans unhappy because their side had lost a match) 'This is what a quota student looks like!' (Referring to university quotas for Basij members) 'Death to the Taliban, whether in Kabul or Tehran!'

'They've arrested someone!' shouts one student. 'Basiji get lost!' the crowd shouts, before singing a hymn of the student movement 'Yareh Dabestani Man.' Some Basijis can be seen filming the protesters.

'They've used pepper spray!' said the student who filmed this footage.

Students take this Basij leader, referred to as Mr. Abbasi, to task for using tear gas. The Basij leader says that a university is not the place to shout slogans and denies Basijis used tear gas. Protesters claim that the Basijis who have entered the campus are not students there: 'This one asked me where the elevator was. What kind of student is that?'

Azad University has been the scene of regular protests since the start of the academic year.

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