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Iranian demonstrators clash over jailing of liberal cleric

TEHRAN, May 9 (AFP) - Iranian fundamentalists disrupted a demonstration by moderate students on Sunday over the jailing of a liberal cleric accused of spreading propoganda hostile to the Islamic regime.

Around 700 students gathered at Tehran university to call for the release of Mohsen Kadivar, a leading light of the reform movement in Iran who began an 18-month jail term last month.

But scuffles broke out when around 40 militant fundamentalists turned up, shouting "death to Kadivar" and "Kadivar must be executed."

Police were not allowed to enter the university grounds but arrested several people from both groups as they left the campus.

Kadivar, also a university professor, was detained in February for writing a number of articles calling for political life in the Islamic republic to have more autonomy from religion.

He was sentenced in April by a special court dealing with offences by members of the clergy.


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