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Tunisia

Tunisian University Dean Accused Of Slapping Student For Refusing To Remove Veil

LE MONDE, LE COURRIER DE L'ATLAS (France), AFP

Worldcrunch

TUNIS - A Tunisian university dean risks a five year prison sentence for allegedly slapping a student who refused to take off her veil, Le Monde reports.

The case is the latest development in the bitter row at Manouba University between secularists and Salafi students who follow an ultraconservative strand of Islam. Habib Kazdaghli, dean of arts, letters and humanities at the university outside of Tunis has been fiercely opposed to Salafi plans to impose prayer rooms and full-face veils for women on campus.

A Salafi student filed a complaint against Kazdaghli, accusing him of assaulting her in his office. The dean denies the charges, claiming two young women ransacked his office, one of whom he realised had been expelled for six months after refusing to take off her niqab.

Le Courrier de l'Atlas reported that more than 200 people demonstrated outside the court on Thursday to express their support for Kazdaghli.

The AFP reported that a local human rights lawyer, Mohamed Hedi Laabidi accused the Islamist-dominated government of being involved in the case: "It's a set-up because the dean refuses to sign up to a model of society that is contrary to modernity."

The trial was postponed on Thursday July, and was rescheduled to October 25. At first facing just 15 days in prison for simple assault, the charges have been toughened due to the fact that Kazdaghli was on duty as an official civil servant.

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Geopolitics

End-Of-Regime Vibe? Supreme Leader Keeps Referring To Shah's Final Days

In recent weeks, Ali Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader, has made repeated references to the end of Iran's last regime in 1979. Is may be a sign the country is indeed approaching another kind of revolution.

photo of Supreme Leader ali Khamenei

Iran's Supreme Leader al Khamenei on Jan. 9

Office of Supreme Leader via ZUMA
Kayhan-London

-Analysis-

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has ordered his forces to clamp down with renewed vigor on the remains of the mass protests that erupted across Iran in mid-September. Initially a reaction to police brutality, these turned into the biggest anti-state protests of the Islamic Republic's 40-year history.

And they continue, in spite of thousands of arrests, more than 500 deaths on the streets and in custody, and four hangings. There was also outrage in Britain and across the world after the execution of British-Iranian Alireza Akbari, who had been sentenced to death.

All of this has angered the leader. In a speech in Tehran last week, Khamenei called the protests "treason" aimed at destroying Iran's "security, production of knowledge, economic output and tourism."

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