Iranian Students to Mark Bloody Raid on Campus with Flowers, Candles
Iranian students said Friday they will hand out flowers in Tehran's streets and light candles to commemorate last year's bloody raid on a university dormitory - a peaceful plan praised by a key hard-line politician, reported The Associated Press.
“I appreciate that the student groups have decided to commemorate the anniversary in this way, which does not create any controversy,” former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani said during a Friday prayer sermon at Tehran University.
Saturday's planned vigil comes a year after one student was killed and scores were injured on July 9th 1999 in a pre-dawn raid on a Tehran University dormitory.
The raid by hard-line security forces and vigilantes came hours after students rallied against the banning of a liberal newspaper.
It triggered six days of nationwide protests by tens of thousands of students.
It was the worst unrest in Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution, said the AP.
During a subsequent trial for a police chief and 19 subordinates, students testified they were beaten until hallways became slippery with blood. The defendants are still awaiting verdicts.
Two large Iranian student groups, the Office for Fostering Unity and the Islamic Students Association, are among those leading Saturday's memorial.
“We will hand out flowers to show our hatred for violence and to seek to promote tolerance and peaceful dialogue in our society,” Akbar Atri, a leader of the Office for Fostering Unity, said Friday.
Islamic Students Association members have called on students to light candles on campuses and in dormitories to commemorate the raid, said the AP – Albawaba.com
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