Iran shuts down education center over ‘inciting riots’

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Iranian authorities have shuttered an educational center accused of “inciting riots” during last year’s mass demonstrations triggered by the death in custody of a young woman, state media reported Monday.

Nationwide protests rocked Iran following the September death of a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, Mahsa Amini, in police custody after her arrest over violating the Islamic republic’s strict dress code.

“We prepared and issued a warrant for the closure of Gaj center following the directive of the minister of education,” state news agency IRNA quoted Ahmad Mahmoudzadeh, head of Iran’s non-governmental schools, as saying.

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Mahmoudzadeh said Gaj had “incited riots” during a Persian literature exam for students, without elaborating.

Iran’s reformist newspaper Shargh daily reported that Gaj had cited excerpts from revolutionary poems by prominent dissident Farrokhi Yazdi.

Gaj centre, founded in 2002, has won multiple awards over the years for its publications.

Last year’s protests saw hundreds of people killed, including dozens of security personnel, and thousands arrested in connection with what officials labelled as “riots” fomented by foreign countries after Amini’s death.

Seven men have been executed in protest-related cases involving killings and other violence against security forces.

On Sunday, Iran’s police said it has restored morality police patrols to deal with women who “insist” on violating the dress code.

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