Iranian Police Suppress Student Protest

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2009 10:32 AM CDT
In this Monday, June 15, 2009, photo, an Iranian protestor flashes a victory sign from a bridge in a mass protest over the June 12 disputed presidential election, in Tehran, Iran.   (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
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(Newser) – Riot police swarmed around Tehran University today, dispersing anyone attempting to gather in protest with batons, shields, and pepper spray, the Washington Post reports. “There are 300 of us in a small alley, and we are under attack by dozens of security forces,” one witness reported. Others say they saw Baseej militia members beating protesters with clubs, and plainclothes police officers leading people into unmarked vans.

The protest, organized online through email, Facebook, and opposition sites, was to commemorate the 10th anniversary of an attack on university students by security forces. But the governor of Tehran had warned that the demonstration was illegal, and promised a “crushing response.” Such threats have largely succeeded in squashing protests; there hasn’t been a major demonstration in nearly 2 weeks.