"As protests broke out last week at a prestigious university here, cutting short a speech by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Babak Zamanian could only watch from afar. He was on crutches, having been clubbed by supporters of the president and had his foot run over by a motorcycle during a less publicized student demonstration a few days earlier"
"The students’ complaints largely mirrored public frustrations over the president’s crackdown on civil liberties, his blundering economic policies and his harsh oratory against the West, which they fear will isolate the country.
But the students had an additional and potent source of outrage: the president’s campaign to purge the universities of all vestiges of the reform movement of his predecessor, Mohammad Khatami.
Last summer the newly installed head of the university, Alireza Rahai, ordered the demolition of the office of the Islamic Association, which had been the core of student political activities on campus since 1963 and had matured into a moderate, pro-reform group.
Since then, students say, more than 100 liberal professors have been forced into retirement and many popular figures have been demoted. At least 70 students were suspended for political activities, and two were jailed. Some 30 students were given warnings, and a prominent Ph.D. candidate, Matin Meshkin, was barred from finishing his studies.
The students also complain about overcrowded and crumbling dormitories and proscriptions against women wearing makeup or bright colors, rules that were relaxed when Mr. Khatami came to power in 1997. "
Sul Ny Times qui