Iranian Regime Beats Student Protesters on Anniversary of 1999 Student Movement

The Iranian regime beat student protesters and a young mother Monday during a student protest in Tehran on the anniversary of a bloody raid on a Tehran university dormitory in 1999.

Ahmad Betebi is an Iranian student leader who was imprisoned since the Iranian Student Protests in July 1999 until earlier this year. During the protests in the areas surrounding Tehran University, Batebi held up a bloodied shirt belonging to a fellow student who had been beaten by the Basij paramilitaries. The image, pictured above, spread quickly and ended up on the cover of The Economist magazine. Following the publication of The Economist, Batebi was detained and sentenced to death on charges relating to “endangering national security” following a closed-door trial by a Revolutionary Court in Tehran. Ahmad Batebi reportedly suffered several seizures on 16 February and fell unconscious over a period of at least three hours in the course of the day. His fellow prisoners reportedly took him to the prison’s medical facility. Unconfirmed reports stated that Ahmad Batebi suffered a stroke. Batebi was released from prison earlier this year.

Iranian Security forces arrested at least six members of the Central Council of the Office for Consolidating Unity (OCU), the largest organization of Iranian students who were staging a sit in at the gate of the Amir Kabir University to commemorate the revolts of 9 July 1999. (Iran Press Service)

The Iranian regime cut off power at Amir Kabir University to prevent gatherings at the campus in commemoration of the 1999 student movement. Still, hundreds of students gathered yesterday to protest the regime in Iran:


Today, July 9th, marked the eighth anniversary of the July 1999 Student uprisings in Tehran University, which led to a number killed with over a thousand arrested. Many of our arrested colleagues still remain captive in the Islamic prison cells while students like Akbar Mohammadi regretfully died under the torturous conditions. Today, students of Iran gathered in honor of the heroic student uprisings eight years ago and condemned the inhumane Islamic regime in their use of violence to silence the students’ freedom of speech, one of the most fundamental human rights.

Today’s major demonstrations were seen in front of Tehran University and Amir Kabir University where hundreds gathered denouncing dictatorship and calling for the unconditional release of all captive students. At Amir Kabir University, early morning, scores of members of the Islamic Student Society were arrested by plainclothes agents as gunfires were shot in the air in aim of dispersing the crowd.

Prior to this day, the Islamic security forces had taken repressive measures by arresting a number of Amir Kabir University students whom were seen as potential leaders and activists of this anniversary. In addition, yesterday July 8, the University’s power was shut off. Authorities claimed there were technical issues, however students believe this was a tactic in aim to prevent any potential gatherings at this site.

Radio Free Europe has more on the arrests:

A number of students from Iran’s main reformist student group have been detained in Iran, including six young Iranians from the Office to Foster Unity (Daftare Tahkim Vahdat) who were staging a picket today to protest the imprisonment of fellow students.

The arrests come on the eighth anniversary of an attack by police forces and vigilantes on a university dormitory in Tehran that is regarded by some government critics as a symbol of continuing political repression.

The six members of the pro-reform student groups had staged their protest for about one hour when police forces and plainclothes agents reportedly detained them and took them to an unknown location.

The student group’s website,, has identified them as a woman and five men: Bahareh Hedayat, Mohammad Hashemi, Ali Nekunesbati, Mehdi Arabshahi, Hanif Yazdani, and Ali Vafaghi.

This is the flyer posted and circulated among students across Tehran that demands the release of fellow student leaders currently held by the regime since May.

Winston posted the link to the Democracy for Iran website tribute to the student movement back on July 9, 1999. It is about 5 minutes long and is very good.

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