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Politics

University Library Stormed, Student Arrested As Defiant Iranians Holds Third Day Of Strike

November 17, 2022
Akhtar Safi
2 min read
University students have been at the forefront of the protest movement demanding more freedoms and women's rights.
University students have been at the forefront of the protest movement demanding more freedoms and women's rights.

Iranian security forces have raided a university library and violently arrested a protesting student, as anti-government demonstrators staged fresh rallies across the country with shopkeepers and businesses striking for a third consecutive day.

Footage obtained by IranWire showed security agents brutalizing the university student as they were dragging him out of the library in the southern city of Shiraz on November 17.

The raid took place on the third day of a general strike marking the November 2019 nationwide protests in which hundreds of demonstrators were killed.

Video shared online showed closed shops in Tehran's Grand Bazaar and in cities including Arak and Tabriz, Mashhad, Isfahan, Najafabad, Ilam, Gorgan, Babol and Soumesara.

Iran has been gripped by a wave of nationwide protests since the September death of a 22-year-old woman in the custody of morality police. The protest movement, which is demanding more freedoms and women's rights, has grown to become the biggest threat to the clerical regime since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Young men and women, including university students, have been at the forefront of the protest movement, which has been met by a brutal state crackdown that has killed more than 340 people. Thousands have been put behind bars, including dozens of students over the past two days.

Iranian security forces have shot and killed at least 10 people in western Kurdish cities and towns over the past 24 hours, according to information obtained by IranWire, amid reports of fierce clashes between protesters and security agents across the country.

The Oslo-based Hengaw rights group said one protester also died in Bukan, West Azerbaijan Province.

Officials say at least 43 security forces have been killed since the start of the unrest two month ago.

Five people have so far been sentenced over the protests, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, the head of the judiciary confirmed on November 17, a day after Amnesty International condemned Iran's "chilling use of the death penalty to further brutally quell [the] popular uprising."

According to the London-based rights group, the authorities are seeking the death penalty for at least 21 people in "sham trials designed to intimidate" the protest movement.

Amnesty's Diana Eltahawy urged the Iranian authorities to “immediately quash all death sentences, refrain from seeking the imposition of the death penalty and drop all charges against those arrested in connection with their peaceful participation in protests."

"Two months into the popular uprising and three years on from the November 2019 protests, the crisis of impunity prevailing in Iran is enabling the Iranian authorities to not only continue carrying out mass killings but also to escalate the use of the death penalty as a tool of political repression."

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