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Student Insists He Was Detained After Criticizing Khamenei


Mohammad Javad Motamedinezhad, Iranian student activist close to Ahmadinejad

A university student who delivered a vitriolic speech at a meeting with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has denied claims made by the judiciary that he was not detained following the event.

At an annual gathering hosted by Khamenei for a group of university students and representatives from student associations on May 28, at least two of the guests voiced strong criticism of the ruling regime.

Two days later, one of the critics, Mohammad Javad Motamedinejad, was detained at a bus and truck terminal in Tehran.

Motamedinejad, who presents himself as the “secretary of the Pro-Justice Students Movement of Iran” on his Twitter account, says contrary to the claims made by Tehran’s chief justice, he was detained two days after the meeting with Khamenei but released on bail.

Earlier, Tehran’s chief justice had insisted that none of the students who spoke at the meeting with Khamenei had been detained.

Dismissing the judiciary official’s comments, Motamedinejad wrote on Twitter on June 1 that the chief justice’s remarks were irresponsible and published a copy of the verdict concerning his 500 million rial (roughly $12,000) bail.

Motamedinejad says he had gone to the Tehran transport terminal on May 30 to listen to protesting truckers' demands when security agents detained him along with a labor rights activist.

“I was accused of disturbing public peace and order and later released on bail,” Motamedinejad tweeted on June 1.

In an unprecedented move during the meeting with Khamenei on May 28, at least two students, Motamedinejad and Sahar Mehrabi, were allowed to freely voice their criticism.

On his Twitter account, Motamedinejad listed the main topics of his speech as “unfair procedures” overshadowing the judiciary, “injustice across the country,” and the dominant role of those considered “insiders” of the ruling system.

“The head of the judiciary has been promising for years to publish the list and images of corrupt judges, but nothing has come of it,” he said at the meeting. “A lack of transparency has led to a situation where the corrupt elements feel safe, rather than the oppressed -- people have lost their trust in the judiciary.”

Motamedinejad’s speech echoed former President Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s recent remarks against the head of the judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani. The Pro-Justice Students Movement of Iran supports Ahmadinejad.

Ahmadinejad has characterized the judiciary as “corrupt” and “not accountable” while also criticizing Khamenei for appointing Larijani, “a man of no judicial background,” as chief justice.

Ahmadinejad has also said “there is no mechanism or authority, citizens could resort to in order to complain about the judiciary’s unlawful behavior.”

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