Former Tehran Riot Squad Chief Faces Arrest over Student Unrest

Published June 21st, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Iran's military justice department ordered Wednesday the arrest of a former head of a Tehran riot squad in connection with investigations into last July's assault on students which triggered mass unrest, state radio reported. 

The department issued arrest warrants for Farhad Arjomandi and another officer of lower rank after they failed to appear before a military court, the radio said. 

The trial of 20 police officers accused of storming a Tehran University dormitory in July ended on May 29, but the verdict expected last week has still not been pronounced. 

Before the end of the trial the court summoned the two officers concerned to a closed-doors hearing. 

The chief defendant is dismissed Tehran police chief Brigadier General Farhad Nazari, who is accused of instructing police officers and members of a special unit to attack the dormitory, breaching an interior ministry order not to intervene or use tear gas. 

The operation, which aimed to quell a demonstration against the closure of a reformist newspaper, was followed by large-scale protests in Tehran and elsewhere that left three dead and many injured, according to an official toll. 

The reformist press reported five dead. 

A lawyer for students attacked by police has alleged that the intervention was aimed at weakening President Mohammad Khatami, the pro-reform head of state TEHRAN (AFP).  

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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