Iran Arrests Student Editor over Insulting Islam


[We are lucky to have free speech….]

TEHERAN – Iran has arrested the editor of a student paper after the publication of material deemed insulting to Islam in four reformist papers at a prestigious Teheran university, press reports said on Saturday.
“Ahmad Ghassaban the editor of Sahar (Dawn), a student paper in Amir Kabir University, was arrested on Thursday,” the reformist Etemad daily said.

His arrest came after caricatures and articles deemed insulting to Islam appeared on campus in papers bearing the insignia of Sahar and three other student publications.

It was not clear exactly what the reportedly offensive material contained.

Ghassaban and other editors belonging to a reformist student movement denied any involvement, saying the images were put into papers by unknown individuals as a plot to discredit them.

Student members of the Basij militia have reportedly protested against the material in the past days, calling for the expulsion of those responsible for their publication.

The Iranian judiciary said on Wednesday it had arrested five people — none of them students — linked to the publication of the material in question.

Etemad said 120 student publications had supported the Amir Kabir editors and called for “action against those who forge student papers.”

Amir Kabir University was involved in student demonstrations that rocked Iran in 2002 and has often been seen as a hotbed of student radicalism.

A speech by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the university last year was interrupted by heckling and jeers, with one student burning his picture and another hurling a shoe.


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