Date: Jul 15, 1999 [ 18: 34: 25]

Subject: The statement of Grouh Towhidi Defae az Mostazafan

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The statement of Grouh Towhidi Defae az Mostazafan

http://www.btinternet.com/~a.abdi/GTDM0715.PDF



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Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 12:38:31 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/AP: Iran Protesters Dragged Away

Iran Protesters Dragged Away
Protests in Iran


By AFSHIN VALINEJAD Associated Press Writer

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Pro-democracy student protesters were
tied hand-and-foot and dragged from a huge rally called by Iranian
hard-liners, the Neshat daily reported today.

The newspaper quoted Ali Afshari, a leader of weeklong pro-democracy
demonstrations, as saying that the whereabouts of several of his fellow
students were not known, the newspaper said.

Militant supporters of the hard-liners ``attacked a group of student
protesters,'' the reformist daily quoted Afshari as saying. ``They beat the
students, then tied their hands and feet with wire and took them to an
unknown location in a waiting ambulance.''

It was not clear how the protesters were identified in the crowd, estimated
at 100,000, or how many were taken away.

A power struggle between Islamic hard-liners and reformers allied with
President Mohammad Khatami came to a head last week when the closing of a
reformist daily sparked six days of student protests.

The demonstrations, which peaked with 25,000 protesters at Tehran
University, spread to at least eight other cities.

The hard-liners retaliated by banning all protests except one of their own
Wednesday, at which they warned that ``rioters'' arrested Monday and Tuesday
would be executed.

Tehran television, controlled by hard-liners, said at least a million people
attended the rally, sending an uncompromising signal that they would not
give in to student-led demands for democratic reforms. Witnesses estimated
100,000 people participated.

Streets near Tehran University were quiet today for the first time since
protests began July 9 on a scale unseen since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

In Washington, the State Department called the week's events ``significant''
but declined further comment Wednesday.

Spokesman James P. Rubin said that without an embassy in Tehran, the
administration was not able to follow the situation as closely as it would
like. ``It is difficult to make authoritative assessment about events which
are rapidly unfolding,'' he said.

The hard-line Kayhan daily, meanwhile, reported today that one of its
photographers was shot in the leg when protesters attacked the newspaper's
offices Tuesday.

Although the hard-liners appear to have put down the pro-democracy protests,
student leaders continued to press for their demands.

Afshari and another student leader, Hojjat Sharifi, told Neshat that the
protesters' main demand remains that Hedayat Lotfian, the chief of the
national police, be dismissed.

The protesters blame him for a July 9 raid by police and hard-line
vigilantes on a Tehran University dormitory, hours after students rallied
against the banning of a liberal newspaper. One person was killed and at
least 20 were injured in the raid, which fueled the protests.

The hard-liners have fired two middle-ranking police officers and
reprimanded a third, but they have taken no action against Lotfian.

According to the Neshat report, the two student leaders also stressed that
control of the security forces must be transferred from the hard-line
supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to Khatami allies in the Interior
Ministry.

Khamenei, an unelected leader, outranks the popularly elected Khatami.

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 12:41:15 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/Washington Post: Voices of Iran

The Washington Post

Voices of Iran
By Azar Nafisi

Thursday, July 15, 1999; Page A25

To be taken by surprise by events in Iran has become almost routine. The
election victory of Mohammed Khatemi in May 1997 came as a surprise. Now,
with the student demonstrations during the past week, Iran has once again
surprised us with perhaps the biggest challenge to the Islamic regime in the
past 15 years.

The easiest way for us to explain the unexpected turn of events would be to
repeat the fashionable mantra that this is another instance of the clash
between the hard-liners and reformist President Khatemi.

A more apt description is that the events of the past few days reflect the
paradoxes and contradictions in Khatemi himself. He is on the one hand part
of the ruling elite and believes in the basic tenets of the Islamic
Republic. On the other hand, he is genuinely committed to certain changes
and reforms.

But it seems impossible in the case of Iran to have "virtual theocracy." To
the vast majority of Iranian citizens, "reform" means something different
from what it means to Iran's rulers. This is clearly understood by the
hard-liners, who justifiably see true reform as their own doom and the end
for all practical purposes of the Islamic Republic. The hard-liners have
been harassing, arresting, torturing and murdering for the past two years
not just to oppose Khatemi. They have committed these crimes mainly because
they fear the growing forces within Iranian civil society. The women,
progressive clerics, journalists and youths at the forefront of the
struggles have demands that are not identical with Khatemi's ideas of
reform.

The past two years have witnessed an amazing flourishing of civil society,
an unprecedented critique of reactionary laws and the rule of the supreme
leader. At the same time, there have been continued human rights violations,
murders of secular and nationalist figures, persecution of minorities,
torture and detention of prominent clerics and stonings and executions of
ordinary citizens as well as activists.

No, it would be too simplistic to conclude that the hard-liners have pursued
these policies just to oppose the president. The main target of the
hard-liners has been the forces within Iran's growing civil society, forces
that now act in the name of democracy rather than that of Islam. These
forces oppose reactionary laws against women and religious minorities, and
reject the idea of a Western "cultural invasion." When the protesting
students chanted "Long live liberty, death to despotism" and "Liberty or
death," they were using the voices and slogans that ushered in the 1906
Iranian Constitutional Revolution.

The students' slogans for liberty and justice were not just general terms.
The students have given these words specific meaning through their
particular demands. The protests resounded against the main organs of the
Islamic regime: the supreme religious leader, the judiciary, the security
forces, the revolutionary guards and the parliament. The students have
demanded freedom for political prisoners and freedom of the press. They have
evoked as their heroes and ideals not just Khatemi but also nationalist
leaders Daryush and Parvaneh Forouhar, murdered in 1998, and former prime
minister Mohammed Mossadegh, overthrown in 1953. These nationalists are no
heroes of the Islamic Republic; the Ayatollah Khomeini so hated Mossadegh
that he refused to tolerate having a street named after the prime minister
following the Islamic Revolution.

Everyone from the leader to the president has condemned the acts of violence
against the students and has promised justice and punishment for the
perpetrators of violence. But these pleas and promises have been made
before, in the aftermath of the murders of nationalist leaders, the numerous
cases of harassment of ordinary citizens at the hands of vigilantes and,
recently, the arrest of Jews as spies.

The unkept promises of the past are coming back to haunt Khatemi. The
students, disappointed that Khatemi has not been more active, chanted,
"Khatemi, Khatemi, where are you?" Surprisingly, it was Khatemi who
condemned the protesters' leaders as "attacking the foundations of the
regime and of wanting to foment tensions and disorders." He warned that
"deviations will be repressed with force and determination."

President Khatemi is not a cause but rather a symptom of change. He
represents the paradox of both belonging and remaining faithful to the
regime, and at the same time presenting an agenda that shakes its very
foundations. He is caught between two forces.

The standard by which we judge Khatemi, or any force in Iran, should be the
Iranian people's demands and aspirations, as articulated by representatives
of the growing civil society. Democratic forces around the world cannot
afford to be cynical about their own values: They should support those
values when they are being reasserted and fought for in countries like Iran.
When and if Khatemi encourages those values through deeds as well as words,
he should be wholeheartedly supported. And when he attempts to block them or
throw doubts upon them, he should be criticized accordingly.


The writer is a visiting senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near
East Policy.

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 12:43:45 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/NY Times: Turning Tables in Iran, Crowds Back Old Line

July 15, 1999
Turning Tables in Iran, Crowds Back Old Line

By ELAINE SCIOLINO

TEHRAN, Iran -- After six days of nationwide pro-democracy protests that
deteriorated into violent rioting, huge crowds staged counterdemonstrations
Wednesday in at least two dozen cities and towns, heeding the official call
to praise the Islamic Republic and condemn its enemies, particularly the
United States.

Calm returned to the capital as Teheran residents obeyed official warnings
that the Government would use all necessary means to restore order. There
were no signs of pro-democracy demonstrators or baton-wielding vigilantes,
no smells of tear gas or bonfire smoke, no sounds of gunfire or ambulance
sirens.
related Articles

The about-face underscored the fluid nature of Iranian politics and the
ability of Iran's ruling clerics to restore order by proclaiming a national
crisis.

President Mohammad Khatami made no public appearances Wednesday, and the
students who were angry over delays in his program of democratic reforms
boycotted Wednesday's marches.

Instead, the streets belonged to the conservative backers of Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei, the country's conservative supreme leader. Chants of "Death to
America!" replaced "Death to dictators!" over loudspeakers across the
country.

Still, normality did not return. Teheran's vast bazaar, the heart of the
capital's commercial center with its thousands of shops and miles of
passages, was closed for a second day so that employees could march, as were
hundreds of shops on many of the main thoroughfares.

The Government blocked all mobile telephone communication in Teheran in an
effort to prevent speedy conversations among students, journalists and
would-be saboteurs, officials said.

Even the country's highest officials were left without their mobile phones,
as ubiquitous among the clerical ruling class as their prayer beads. An
official in the President's office said the system would not be operational
for two or three days.

The unrest erupted last Thursday, after students protested the passage of
tough press laws and the closing of a popular left-leaning newspaper. The
protesters repeatedly praised President Khatami and called for faster
progress toward the cultural and democratic freedoms he has promised, but
they did not suggest changing the Islamic foundation of government.

Underscoring the old guard's determination to stanch the worst unrest since
Iran's revolution of 1979, Ayatollah Khamenei gave a green light to
paramilitary Islamic volunteers, known as the baseeji, to terrorize and
crush the country's enemies.

"My baseej children must reserve the necessary readiness and be present at
any scene where they are needed to intimidate and crush the base enemies,"
Ayatollah Khamenei said in a message to the nation that was read out at
rallies across the country.

"It has been two days now," he said, "that a group of bandits, aided by
certain bankrupt political grouplets and with the support and encouragement
of foreign enemies, have engaged in destroying public property throughout
Teheran, creating havoc and intimidating the people."

Hassan Rouhani, a cleric who is the secretary of the Supreme National
Security Council, Iran's top security body, warned that protesters and
rioters under arrest would be tried and punished for being "enemies of the
state" and "corrupt of the earth," crimes that are punishable by death.

"Our revolution needs a thorough cleanup, and this will help advance the
cause of the regime and the revolution," Rouhani told a huge crowd at
Teheran University, which was also the scene of six days of student
demonstrations.

Rouhani also warned that the Islamic system would not tolerate any challenge
to the principle of "velayat-e-faqih," by which Iran's Constitution gives
ultimate authority to one clerical supreme leader for life. "The velayat is
the symbol of the nation's might," Rouhani said. "Insulting the velayat is
insulting the nation and all Muslims."

For the first time since the revolution 20 years ago, demonstrators had
chanted slogans against Ayatollah Khamenei, who controls the country's
security and intelligence forces, the armed forces, the judiciary and the
radio and television and therefore wields much more power than the popularly
elected President, Khatami. Some demonstrators even called for Ayatollah
Khamenei to resign.

But Wednesday the streets of Iran belonged to the Ayatollah.

In Teheran, dozens of buses brought in students, workers, disabled war
veterans, the elderly, children and villagers for a rally that included
speech after speech praising Ayatollah Khamenei and denouncing the "hidden
hands" of the United States, Israel and traitors for causing the unrest.

The march and the rally that followed resembled thousands of similar
gatherings that have commemorated important anniversaries over the course of
the revolution. As in those gatherings, those taking part were primarily
from the lower classes.

Employees in many Government and private offices were ordered to join in the
demonstration. One soldier said his army unit had been dismissed Wednesday
so that it could march in civilian clothes.

Many Teheran residents did not show up for work, particularly in the
downtown area around the university. That meant that the usually
slow-moving, fumy rush-hour traffic flowed with ease.

Iran's state-controlled television broadcast extensive videotapes of
Wednesday's demonstrations from two dozen cities and towns, including major
urban centers like Teheran and Isfahan and small, remote places like Yasuj
and Naghdeh.

All of the tapes showed huge crowds of bearded men and black-veiled women
punching the air with their fists and chanting slogans of praise for
Ayatollah Khamenei and condemnation of the United States.

Television gave the impression that the crowds were huge, and indeed they
were. But numbers are relative, and in Teheran, at least, the crowd was
smaller than others, including the one that gathered at the same place for
President Khatami in May 1998 on the first anniversary of his election.
Certainly there was no comparison to the crowds of more than a million that
took to the streets over and over during the revolution.

The television did not show the people who left the rally here long before
it ended or the Popsicle-licking marchers who preferred window-shopping to
chanting.

In the student-led demonstrations of the last few days, there were plenty of
posters of President Khatami and none of Ayatollah Khamenei. Wednesday there
were plenty of posters of the Ayatollah; only a few posters of the
President, who is also a cleric, were seen.

Many children, even toddlers in strollers, wore blue paper banners around
their foreheads with the words "Khamenei is our leader."

Much of the security apparatus deployed on the streets in the last few days
disappeared as the regular army and the police were posted along the route
of the marchers and at the university. Plainclothes security officers
carrying walkie-talkies carefully followed people who did not blend in, even
following them into shops.

Many of the marchers expressed their willingness to die for Ayatollah
Khamenei. A father and his two young sons wore white funeral shrouds
hand-painted with the words "Death to America."

Long cloth banners strung along the university's iron gates read, "The blood
in our veins is a gift to our leader," and "There is no place for traitors
in an Islamic university."

The chant of a large group of schoolgirls was simple: "The rioters should be
killed."

In recent days, the pro-democracy demonstrators had chanted, "Death to
dictators!" and "Death to despots!" But incited by official statements
blaming the United States and other "hostile" powers for masterminding the
unrest, the pro-Khamenei crowds Wednesday reverted to a more familiar
slogan: "Death to America!"

There were signs that at least some of the students felt abandoned by
President Khatami, who won a landslide victory in 1997 with the help of the
youth vote. The reformist newspaper Neshat Wednesday published a letter from
a university student that spoke of the "loneliness of the students behind
those closed gates."

"They were looking for someone who was not there," the letter said.

No one dared to challenge Wednesday's speakers or the chanting crowd, but
along the fringes of the counterdemonstration, there was a quiet chorus of
dissent.

"Bad, bad, bad, bad," said one woman in her 60's, who could clearly be
identified as secular and middle-class by her colorful head scarf and the
bits of bleached blond hair that it revealed. "Write about it when this
crowd sets fire to the whole city!"

An elderly man watching the demonstration from a side street, said over and
over: "Have patience. Have patience." He said he had seen many things in his
long life. "These are the last days of this regime," he said. "I'm old and
experienced. I know what I'm talking about."

Demonstrations in Iran traditionally have a carnival atmosphere, with street
vendors hawking food and souvenirs. The busiest vendor today was a man with
a large cooler selling ice cream on sticks. Asked what he thought of
Wednesday's demonstration, he said: "Yesterday was better. I sold more ice
cream."

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 12:46:56 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/BBC:

Thursday, July 15, 1999 Published at 17:05 GMT 18:05 UK

World: Middle East
Iran hunts protest leaders

Hardline supporters called for "death to counter-revolutionaries"

Iranian authorities are conducting extensive efforts to arrest and punish
the pro-reform activists they suspect of being behind the recent unrest in
Tehran.

Units of the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij Islamic militia have been
deployed in sensitive areas in the capital, including near Tehran
University, where the most serious challenges to the Islamic authorities
were voiced.

Hundreds of arrests have taken place since students from the university took
to the streets last week, according to the human rights group Amnesty
International.

The group says the whereabouts of one student leader, Maryam Shansi, were
not known after her arrest on Tuesday. She was attacked and beaten at her
home by unknown assailants on Monday, the group said.


BBC Middle East Correspondent Jim Muir: "Cracking down on dissidents"
Amnesty also says it has reports that at least five people have been killed,
and dozens injured, while many well-known student activists are reported to
have gone into hiding.

In a massive official rally on Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of
supporters of Iran's hardline Islamic rulers reclaimed the streets of the
capital from the reform movement, in a massive official rally.

Deputy Parliamentary Speaker Hasan Rowhani told the crowd that those
arrested for sabotage and destroying state property during the student
protests would face the death penalty.

His remarks were greeted with shouts of approval and chants of "Death to
counter-revolutionaries".

Iran's elected president, Mohammad Khatami, who shares many of the students'
aims, condemned the violence, which broke out on Monday and Tuesday after
four days of mainly peaceful demonstrations.

Running battles were fought on Tehran streets
University hostels were almost deserted on Thursday, with less than 200
students from out of town remaining amid the debris of the unrest.

The student council at Tehran University has said it will refrain from hold
further protests for the time being.

"We still await definitive information from the government on the student
martyrs and the whereabouts of their bodies," a student spokesman told
journalists.

The students also say they are not backing down on their central demands,
the sacking of the police chief, the trial of two senior officers already
sacked and the re-opening of the reformist newspaper whose closure triggered
the unrest.

On Tuesday, demonstrators and security forces fought running street battles
in several parts of Tehran, a day after the city's governor banned
demonstrations and after Mr Khatami said they should stop.

In an address on Tuesday night, the president said some of the protesters
arrested that day had not been students, but were people with "ill
intentions".

The unrest began after the closure of the liberal Salam newspaper last week
and the introduction of new legislation to curb Iran's free press.

A week ago hardline vigilantes backed by police officers assaulted students
who had been demonstrating against those measures.

The intervention was sharply criticised by Mr Khatami and his supporters,
and even the hardline Islamic authorities.

Newspapers have enjoyed relative freedom since the president's election in
1997, but have come under mounting pressure from hardliners in recent
months.

Iran's youth are a driving force for change. Their voice has been gaining
strength - more than half the population have grown up since the revolution.

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 18:57:24 +0100
From: "a.abdi" <a.abdi@BTINTERNET.COM>
Subject: New statements regarding the recent events

http://www.btinternet.com/~a.abdi/GTDM0715.PDF

> http://www.btinternet.com/~a.abdi/JMM0421.pdf

> http://www.btinternet.com/~a.abdi/JMM7804.pdf

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 16:24:40 EDT
From: KPGBT@AOL.COM
Subject: Fwd: Statement by United Student Front

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From: AboutIran@aol.com
Full-name: About Iran
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Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 09:22:15 EDT
Subject: Statement by United Student Front
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For more information, please contact:
About Iran=85
PO Box 768
Morton Grove, IL 60053, USA
Telephone: (847) 729-3211
Fax: (847) 729-5926=20


Statement by the United Student Front

Statement in Support of the Spontaneous Movement of Tehran University=20
Students and the Declaration of the Position of the United Student Front

July 10, 1999

The bloody repression of the student demonstration on Friday has left a=20
shameful stain on the face of the tyrannical forces and represents a critica=
l=20
moment in the progressive student movement of Iran. Those who have based=20
their rule on the principle of "conquest by terror" are now facing the=20
consequence of their atrocities against freedom loving dissidents and the=20
afflicted Iranian nation. Their atrocious actions include: threatening=20
calls, beatings and insults, the use of Judiciary Branch of government as a=20
political tool, the arrest and detention of intellectuals and liberal=20
students, incessant closing of liberal newspapers, the attack of the offices=20
of political and student organizations, the violation of the Constitution=20
and the rights of the citizens, the use of political means in passing=20
[illegal] laws, and finally the disastrous killing of dissidents and=20
intellectuals. They have done all this in order to further consolidate thei=
r=20
dictatorial rule. Today, [instead] there is such a volcano of national rage=20
erupting in the university, as the eternal vanguard for freedom, that if the=20
demands of this nation are not heeded by the tyrannical forces, the flame of=20
this inferno shall burn all of the present authorities of the regime.

According to the slogans and positions of the student groups, the following=20
are their main demands:

1) The freedom of all political prisoners, including those students who have=20
been arrested following the attack by security forces and Ansare-Hezbollah i=
n=20
the student dormitory, and also, the freedom of Tabarzadi, Kadivar, and=20
Amir-Entezam, all symbols of resistance against tyranny.
2) The romoval of the ban on independent newspapers and those journals that=20
report critical facts [about government corruption], including Hoviyat Khish=
,=20
Salam, Tous, Zan and Payam Daneshjoo.
3) The identification, trial and punishment of the commanders and others who=20
ordered and carried out the savage attack on the students in the dormitories=
,=20
and in particular, the rouge [security] agents and the heads of Ansar, some=20
of whom bear gun.
4) The return of the body of the martyred students and the allowance of open=20
funeral service for those who were killed for freedom.
5) The authorization of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to control all=20
internal security forces.
6) The abrogation of the recent press supervision act [which further limits=20
an already limited free press].
7) The publishing of the confessions of Saeed Emami [who has been identified=20
by Islamic authorities as the mastermind behind the killing of the dissident=
s=20
in November, 1998].
8) The President's presentation of the findings of the committee=20
investigating the political assassinations of last Autumn.
9) An open trial for the assassins, instigators and plotters of the=20
assassinations [of the dissidents] that took place last November.
10 ) The nationalization of the Bonyad [or Foundation of] Mostazafan and=20
investigation of the activities of its president, Mohsen Rafighdoost.
11 ) The Reporting by the Council of Experts, on how it carries out its lega=
l=20
obligations.
12 ) The dismissal of Larijani, the head of Radio and Television, and the=20
cessation of illegal misuse of these public media by the tyrannical faction=20
of the ruling circles.
13 ) The retraction of the house arrest of grand Ayatollahs, especially the=20
one for Ayatollah Montazeri.
14 ) The holding of Mohammad Yazdi answerable for the dual criteria used by=20
the Judiciary Branch in holding trials during the past one year.

Long Live Freedom
Down with the Tyranny and Its Chains

United Student Front



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Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 16:52:18 EDT
From: KPGBT@AOL.COM
Subject: Fwd: Eyewitness account from Tehran (4)

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Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 09:46:01 -0700 (PDT)
From: Payman Arabshahi <payman@neda.com>
To: iran-news@arash.neda.com
Subject: Eyewitness account from Tehran (4)
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The following is from an observer in Iran:

Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 15:32:10 EDT

The order has been restored today (Wed) thanks to the heavy deployment of
extra forces, the Basiji volunteers armed with either automatic weapons
(middle-aged volunteers) or tube (youngsters).

As of 5 pm, no student is out around the Teh. University or outside the
Dorm. The basijis are standing every few feet, instead.

The morning rally was nothing special, allmost all were mobilized through
the existing networks (neighborhood, subsidy or workplaced based ones).
It was the same kind as that was organized after Ayatollah Montazeri
criticized Khamenei back in November 1997. It just shows that they are
capable of mobilizing this kind of demonstrations but somehow fail to win
in the elections.

Today I heard the rumor that 11 students were killed during the first
Dormitory incident--the information originated in the medical doctors at
the two hospitals where they were admitted initially (3 dead in Shariati
Hospital, 8 in Imam Khomeini Hospital). If this is true and the Khatami
Government cannot admit it, there is somethings fundamentally wrong with
the Government, I think.



--
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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 14 Jul 1999 to 15 Jul 1999 - Special issue
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