Iran: interior minister warns opposition protesters could face execution

Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar on Jan. 5 warned opposition activists that they could face execution if they continue anti-government protests. Najjar’s statement came one day after the Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi announced that “Several foreigners are among those who were arrested on the day of Ashura,” when Tehran was rocked by street clashes that left at least four dead and some 300 arrested. Najjar said that the foreigners would also face punishment if found guilty of crimes. (Jurist, Tehran Times, Jan. 5)

Also Jan. 4, 88 professors at Tehran University, at risk of expulsion and possible arrest, issued an open letter to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calling for an end to the repression of student protests. “Nighttime attacks on defenseless student dormitories and daytime assaults on students at university campuses, venues of education and learning, is not a sign of strength,” the letter reads. “Nor is beating up students and their mass imprisonment.” (NYT, AP, Jan. 4)

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