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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 June 2007, 15:02 GMT 16:02 UK
Iranian students report crackdown
By Frances Harrison
BBC News, Tehran

Tehran University students display posters of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad upside down in December 2006
Iranian students have shown open opposition to Iran's president
Iranian students and professors say an unprecedented number of disciplinary cases have been brought against students in the last month.

They say 29 have been arrested in the last two months for political activism and 207 were taken before disciplinary committees in the last 40 days alone.

By comparison, just four students were disciplined a month on average under the last government.

University professors who criticise the government are also losing their jobs.

One of the best-known reformist professors to be affected by the latest purge is the outspoken cleric Mohsen Kadivar.

The despotic understanding of religious rules would eventually lead to a form of theocracy
Mohsen Kadivar
speaking in a recent BBC News website debate

He has lost his chair in philosophy and literature at the teachers training university and has been transferred to a research institute in philosophy and ethics where he will have little contact with undergraduates.

Earlier, a university disciplinary committee had listed a number of complaints against him, including giving interviews to the BBC.

He is among scores of university professors who have been forced into early retirement or eased out of their positions since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power two years ago.

It is part of a campaign to purge the universities of secular and liberal ideas - a movement described by its supporters as a second cultural revolution.

Students critical of the government have also faced problems.

Eight have been jailed from Amirkabir University where students called the president a dictator to his face when he visited there last December.


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