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23rd Annual Report of Republic in Iran

Islamic tugs arrested more than 400 people, mostly youths, after clashes in Tehran following Iran's 2-1 victory over Iraq in a World Cup football qualifier. "These people have been accused with disturbing public order," said Ebrahim Rezayi-Babadi, an Islamic head of vigilantes group. Islamic militia fired tear-gas to break up a crowd of around 20,000 people celebrating in the capital's western Nur square, while anti-riot forces clubbed dozens of supporters of all ages.
An Iranian journalist has been sentenced to six months in prison and 50 lashes, a punishment that the Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontieres has condemned as "medieval."
Fatemeh Govarai, a journalist with the banned newspaper Omid-e-Zanan was charged with publishing "false information" and "defamation" about the Islamist militia - the Basiji and the Pasdaran, or Revolutionary Guards.
Iran's loss to Bahrain may have sparked the protest in the Iranian capital, Tehran, for the second night running.
Thousands of young people, apparently angered by Iran's 3-1 defeat by Bahrain in a World Cup football qualifying match on Sunday night, took to the streets and clashed with the Islamic riot guards and vigilantes forces on Monday evening.
On three separate nights in the past week there have been people uprising in the Iranian capital Tehran and in other cities following World Cup football qualification matches.
Tens of thousands of young people have taken to the streets of Iran in the past week, causing some of the worst violence in the history of the 22-year-old Islamic revolution.
The youths - both boys and girls - used two World Cup football-qualifying fixtures as an excuse to reclaim the streets and assert their hunger for freedom.
In Tehran, the young people braved tear gas and blows from the Islamic security forces to cavort to the sound of the pop stars, blaring from radios. Girls blew hooters at Islamic vigilantes armed with staves while their boyfriends fought riot police with stones and homemade explosives.
Shock at a 3-1 loss against Bahrain on Sunday sparked two nights of nationwide protests and the crowds returned to the streets on Wednesday following a 1-0 victory against the Emirates.
Islamic Guards confiscated more than 1,000 satellite dishes as part of an apparent crackdown to bar access to several overseas channels run by Iranian opposition groups.
Some 150,000 dishes are expected to be confiscated. In 1995, the then-hard-line parliament banned satellite dishes in an effort to purge Iran of freedom of information, but the ban wasn't strictly enforced and rooftops and balconies soon were filled with dishes.
Three Iranians were publicly flogged in Doroud, in the western Lorestan province.
They were given 100 lashes Monday, the daily said without specifying the reason for the punishment.
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Posted 05-Apr-02 | Revised 08-Apr-2002