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Author Topic:   University students oppose Berlin Conference verdict
Vatandoost
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posted January 23, 2001 08:29     Click Here to See the Profile for Vatandoost   Click Here to Email Vatandoost     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tehran, Jan 21, IRNA -- The Islamic Association of Students at Sharif University of Technology in a statement Sunday voiced their opposition to the "unprecedented and inhuman rulings" issued by a court dealing with the Berlin Conference case. The statement, a copy of which was made available to Iran's Students News Agency (ISNA), called on judicial officials, President Mohammad Khatami and Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi to be accountable for what they called the "threats to the freedom of expression and
thought."

The students also warned that the door for critical dialogue in the country might be closed, calling on people and students to extend further support to reform camp.

Branch 3 of the Islamic Revolution Court recently sentenced senior journalist Akbar Ganji to 10 years in prison plus five year long exile, and gave six other activists sentences ranging from four to 10 years for
their participation in the conference.

The conference, organized by the Heinrich Boell Foundation, which has close ties with Germany's Greens Party, was called to discuss Iran's reform process under President Mohammed Khatami.

The meeting was frequently interrupted by outlawed Iranian opposition groups. Television footages of Berlin Conference showed one man disrobing and a woman dancing which angered many conservative establishments in Iran.

Iranian conservatives branded the conference, which was disrupted by exiled opposition activists, as a threat to national security aiming to topple the regime. They also accused the participants of having `disgraced' the country in front of `counter-revolutionaries'.

The political conference in Berlin last April was attended by 15 reformist activists and two translators. They were all summoned to the revolutionary court and stood trials, with the sole exception of Hassan Yussefi-Eshkevari, whose case was referred to the Special Clerics Court as he is a cleric.

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