Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 27 Dec 1999 to 28 Dec 1999

There is one message totalling 106 lines in this issue.

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Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 10:39:00 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@TELLABS.COM>
Subject: ISLAMIC COURT CONFIRMS DEATH SENTENCES AGAINST STUDENTS

http://www.iran-press-service.com/

December 26, 1999

TEHRAN 26TH Dec. (IPS) Iranian students leaders warned Sunday the
authorities
of the Islamic Republic they would stage nation-wide demonstrations
against the
regime if the death sentences pronounced against Mr. Akbar Mohammadi and
Ahmad
Batebi are uphold.

Informed sources in Tehran confirmed Sunday that Islamic courts have
condemned
to death Mr. Akbar Mohammadi, the younger brother of Mr. Manouchehr
Mohammadi,
the leader of the Nationalist Association of Iranian Students (NAIS)
who, for
his part, is serving a 13 years jail term on charges of sedition against
the
Islamic Republic and collaboration with Iranian opposition groups
abroad.

According to the indictment, the younger Mohammadi is accused of using
Cocktail
Molotov during the last July's student's
demonstrations, allegations that are denied by his friends and family.

Detained in one of the Islamic Republic Intelligence Ministry's most
notorious
prison known as Tohid, Mr.
Mohammadi's physical and mental conditions are reported to be "critical"
as a
result of tortures he has suffered.

The fate of Mr. Batebi, the student who was pictured with the
blood-stained
T-shirt of a friend hit by conservatives-controlled thugs during street
clashes
is
less certain.

Looking like being a mixture of Che Guevara and Jesus Christ, the
photograph of
Mr. Batebi with long hairs controlled with a head band was
published by thousands of newspapers and magazine around the word,
demonstrating the violence with which the Islamic authorities of Iran
had
crushed the last July's students demonstrations for freedom and
democracy.

The demonstrations, the worst the Islamic Republic had to face since its
inception in 1979, were triggered after Law Enforcement Forces and
Islamic
pressures groups controlled by the conservatives savagely attacked
students who
were protesting peacefully in their dormitories the closure of a popular
reformist daily and were quickly turned against the regime and it's
senior
clerical leaders, including ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i.

Some 1,500 people were arrested in connection with the disturbances.
About500
have been cleared while most of the rest are still under investigation.

There was no official confirmation of the sentences, but lawyers and
jurists
said since both Mohammadi and Batebi are accused of "fighting
God", they are likely to be executed according to Islamic laws.

According to Mr. Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, the leader of the Office of
Strengthening Unity (OSU), besides Mr. Mohammadi and Batebi, there
are two other students also on the regime's death row.

He was not able to identify them.

Interviewed by the IPS on the phone, Mr. Tabarzadi warned that if the
authorities upholds the sentences on the students condemned to death,
they
would
have to bear the consequences, as the students would stage nation-wide
protest.

Charged with insulting the leader, Mr. Tabarzadi was imprisoned in the
same
Tohid prison where he describes the situation of political prisoners as
"very
bad".

The verdicts against Mr. Mohammadi and Batebi has placed both the
government of
President Khatami and the conservatives in a difficult
situation, for, if applied, it would set the stage for large-scale
anti-regime
demonstrations and further international pressures on the Islamic
Republic. ENDS DEATH SENTENCE 261299

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 27 Dec 1999 to 28 Dec 1999