Report: At Least 20 Injured, 100 Held in Tehran Protest Friday
At least 20 young anti-government demonstrators were injured and 100 were arrested in clashes with riot police breaking up a Tehran rally, witnesses told AFP.
Armed police fired tear gas and beat some protesters with clubs after some 3,000 protesters chanted and held banners reading "We Are Against the Islamic Regime," to show their support for the freedom of expression.
The incidents come as Iran marks the 22nd anniversary of the Islamic revolution.
Police destroyed all the signs and arrested some 50 of the young protesters, students said, adding that police hit some demonstrators with clubs.
Several protesters who fled the Parc Mellat area were beaten by police on nearby roads, witnesses said.
Demonstrations also took place Friday morning in the western cities of Urumieh and Qazvin and the eastern city of Bojnurd, injuring several people, witnesses told AFP by telephone.
The Iranian news agency IRNA confirmed in a brief report that police had dispersed the demonstration.
It said the group was moving toward the Vanak Square to the south of the place when the law enforcement forces blocked their way and dispersed the protesters.
IRNA added that the protesters were demanding “greater freedom of expression.
"Some opposition groups outside the country had previously called on their supporters to stage demonstrations against the Islamic Republic of Iran today," IRNA added.
Its report did not mention any casualties or arrests.
On Thursday, witnesses told AFP that there were two strong explosions in Tehran's Parc Mellat area on Thursday night.
However there has been no official comment on the blasts, and no claim of responsibility, said the agency.
IRNA said the same day that Iran’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, granted amnesty and commuting of sentence to a group of prisoners convicted at public, revolutionary and military courts.
The Leader's decision came upon a recommendation by Head of the Judiciary Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, said IRNA.
Paragraph 119 of Iran's Constitution authorizes the Leader to pardon prisoners and convicts under certain circumstances – Albawaba.com
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