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Iran Daneshjoo Organization News Service

Iran Daneshjoo Organization News Service -

Azadi e Andishe, Hamishe...! Hamishe...! Freedom of Thought, For Ever...! For Ever...!

Welcome to this edition of the News provided by the "Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran".

There are 10 articles in this news edition:

1) IPS: Death of soldier would harm the image of Rev. guards 2) BBC: Iran's youth: Force for change 3) Reuters: FOCUS-Fraud charges mar final stage of Iran polls 4) LA Times (US): 5) Tehran Times (Iran): Marvi to Handle Case of Serial of Murders 6) Newsweek (US): 'Why Do You Talk About Killing?' 7) Reuters: Some 92,500 Iranian haj pilgrims expected 8) AFP: US Senate overwhelmingly passes Iran non- proliferation bill 9) Reuters: Iran Says Reformist Victory Will Not Shape U.S. Ties 10) AFP: Washington rules out taking Iran off 'terrorist' list

A) More news: 1- Telegraph (UK): Iran humiliates Islam figurehead at polls 2- AFP: Iranian reformist Nuri given permission for new home leave 3- Newsweek (US): The Mullah in the Middle 4- Reuters: Iran Delays Tehran Poll Results Amid Fraud Fears 5- AFP: 300,000 votes to be recounted in Tehran 6- Iran News (Iran): Latest Elections Results in Tehran 7- Telegraph (UK): Ayatollahs retain the power to sow confusion abroad 8- AP: After loss, hard-liners likely to accommodate reformists 9- Reuters: Iran executes three drug traffickers 10- AFP: Iran protests against Turkish PM's remarks 11- Reuters: Czech govt aims to halt parts for Iran power plant 12- World Tribune.Com: CIA: Iran, Syria cooperating on missile development 13- AP: Senate votes on Iran sanctions bill 14- Asia Pulse: Pakistani Team to Visit Iran to Revive Refinery Project 15- Daily Star (Lebanon): Iran says no change in support for Hizbullah 16- AFP: France condemns Lebanese Hezbollah's "terrorist attacks" 17- AP: Seeking market stability, Gulf states look to increase production 18- AFP: Pope plans intense prayers for Middle East peace

B) Swedish Articles:

C) German Articles:

D) French Articles:

E) Demonstrations, Meetings and Conferences on Human Rights in Iran:

1- Palo Alto-Stanford University (CA/USA) (On 02/24/2000) 2- Berkeley (CA/USA) (On 02/26/2000)


Death of soldier would harm the image of Rev. guards

PARIS 23RD Feb. (IPS) One soldier was killed and several others were wounded in an armed clash between Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the regular army in the southern city of Shiraz, Tehran newspapers reported Wednesday.

According to the reformist daily "Sobhe Emrooz" (This Morning), units of the Revolutionary Guards opened fire on soldiers of the regular army guarding a piece of land belonging to the Shiraz Air Force Base, one of Iran's largest and most modern, commending the sensitive Persian Gulf region.

The paper did not said when the clash took place not why the revolutionary guards wanted to take over the land.

Authorities, including the regular army and the revolutionary guards spokesmen remained silent.

Ever since the creation of the Revolutionary Guards of the Islamic Republic (RGIR), or the pasdaran, by grand in the early days after the victory of the Islamic revolution to oppose any possible coup that would come from the regular armed forces, considered as faithful to the former regime and particularly to the person of the Shah who had fled the country, relations had never been good between the two major Iranian armies.

The two armies fought hand in hand in the eight years of war against Iraq. The historic liberation of the port-city of Khorramshahr in 1986 by the army was marred by the Guards insistence to push the advantage inside the enemy's territory and continue the war until the collapse of the Iraqi regime. As a result of that ruinous decision that, according to some recent press reports, was endorsed by hojatoleslam Hashemi Rafsanjani, then in charge of the war operation, the conflict lasted tow more years and ended in a draw.

Considered as the ruling mollahs Praetorian Guard, the pasdarans received the best of the weapons the regime could get on the international black market or from countries like North Korea, Russia and China in the years after the war to the point to make it Islamic Iran's strongest armies.

While the regular forces were given the task of guarding the nation's borders and safeguarding the sovereignty of the motherland, the pasdarans, better equipped, were put in charge of domestic security, doing the regime's dirty jobs, clashing with students and the young, stopping popular demonstrations, enforcing Islamic codes on women, raiding houses, spreading fear and terror.

The result was that the regular army became the darling of the people and the revolutionary guards that of the ruling ayatollahs, disliked by the people.

Though similar clashes over same kind of demands by the ever expanding guards from the armed forces has occurred in the past, but this is the first time that such incident is reported by the press and considering the timing, when the reformists have scored such a big victory in legislative elections, observers fears that the reported clash would open wider the wall of mistrust between the people and the pasdarans.


Iran's youth: Force for change

BBC World February 24, 2000

Iran's general elections has turned the country's focus sharply on the nation's young people. A whole new generation has been born and grown up since the previous generation helped bring about the Islamic revolution 21 years ago.

Two thirds of the population are under 30 and many of them are fed up with the restrictions on their daily lives. They helped vote the reformist president Mohammad Khatami into office in a surprise landslide victory nearly three years ago. They have now strengthened the movement for change by helping his supporters wrest control of parliament from the conservatives.


At Tehran University, students are still hurting after the incident last July, when riot police and right-wing vigilantes stormed and ransacked their dormitory. ''They came with violence, they broke everything they could,'' says one student. ''On that night, the dignity of the University of Tehran was broken.''

Several days of rioting followed, ruthlessly put down by security forces. President Khatami did not intervene. But students do not necessarily hold that against him. ''We must pay for everything we get, and that was the payment for liberty,'' says another student whose belongings were burnt in the attack.

He says they want more freedom and believes most students think Mr Khatami is the man to deliver it.

But it is as hard to generalise about Iranian students as it is about the rest of the country.

Iranian student

Even among Mr Khatami's supporters there is a wide variety of opinions.

''Some of them want an alternative regime, but because they see that there's no better choice, they hope Khatami will lead to such a thing,'' explains one student.

''Some of them are good Muslims and they want some kind of moderate or enlightened version of Islam.

''And some of them are really supporters of the regime but they're somehow disappointed with the previous governments.''


Many young people say they are disappointed with the slow pace of reform. ''Khatami doesn't really believe in any change,'' says a second student. ''The way the president speaks has changed. But nothing really has changed. I still can't have so many obvious things - basic human rights.

''I believe even Khat and the whole system knows that even a minimum of freedom being given to people could sweep them all away, not just conservatives but all of them, Khatami included.

''That's why I say nothing has really changed, because Khat himself believes that nothing should change.''

Another student says there have been changes, but they are superficial.

''I think they've been given as just sops,'' he adds. ''We have a freer press, but even these people writing in this freer press still have some links with the regime, or a good revolutionary record.

''But people belonging to the unofficial opposition or other nationalist groups are as unprotected as before. They are arrested as usual, they get disappeared as usual.''

Relative freedom

If there is one word that sums up young people's demands, it is freedom.

On Friday, the Iranian weekend, hundreds of young people go up to the mountains overlooking Tehran. Up there they can find a freedom which they lack in the big city. There are boys with long hair, mingling freely with girls whose headscarves tend to slip more than a little. But even up there, the freedom they find, is relative.

''No, it's not free,'' says a young man who calls himself Sam. ''They are here to impose Islamic laws, and those who are not complying, they arrest them.

''A lot of people bring musical instruments, they dance and sing. But if the policemen come, they confiscate the instruments, arrest people etcetera.

''We've come here, young people, who have no other fun. But they follow us and try to restrict us.''

Some young people have been disillusioned with the slow pace of change under President Khatami. But many turned out to vote, convinced that this was a chance to help him bring about the changes they want.


FOCUS-Fraud charges mar final stage of Iran polls

TEHRAN, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Iranian officials on Thursday delayed releasing final poll results for Tehran amid allegations of vote-rigging in a tight race for the last of the capital's 30 parliamentary seats. Officials told Reuters they were investigating charges that 100 ballot boxes were stuffed with fraudulent votes. Another 100 boxes had yet to be counted out of a total of 3,111 across the city, they said. "Some ballot boxes are being recounted. Protests have been made against alleged vote-rigging...especially in the south of Tehran," one ministry official said.

"The interior ministry is following up this case results will be released by tomorrow (Friday) night."

With almost all votes counted, reformists backing President Mohammad Khatami had a firm grip on the top 27 places and were leading in the race for another two seats -- an improvement on an already strong showing in the provinces.

But the fate of former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the standard-bearer for the conservative establishment and the only obstacle to a reformist sweep of the capital, hung in the balance.

According to unofficial results, Rafsanjani was clinging to a place in the top 30, but it was uncertain whether he would clear the 25-percent threshold needed to enter parliament in the first round. A strong showing in South Tehran could put him through.

Authorities, under mounting pressure to publish a final tally, had promised final results by noon (0830 GMT) on Thursday. That deadline came and went with no official comment.

However, the ministry assured voters their ballots would be protected.

"The officials in the interior ministry in coordination with Mr Khatami's policies will not allow even one vote to be manipulated," Mohammad Qadimi-Zaker, the ministry's director general of elections, told the afternoon daily Aftab-e Emrouz.

Complicating the count is the dual nature of authority for the polls, divided between the reformist government's interior ministry and the conservative clerics who dominate the Guardian Council.

Elections monitors say interior ministry supervisors have refused to sign off on results from the disputed districts, despite approval of the balloting by representatives of the Guardian Council.

Failure to resolve the dispute could force a new election, although analysts said that was unlikely. A meeting was scheduled for later on Thursday between the ministry and the Guardians.

Rival newspapers, meanwhile, fanned the flames of controversy.

"Some people are worried their votes may be tampered with," read a front-page headline in the leftist Bayan.

But the conservative afternoon daily Kayhan said the delays were part of a plot to deprive the former president of his rightful seat.

"Lots of efforts are being expended by a certain political current to remove the name of Mr Hashemi Rafsanjani from the list of candidates who have made it to parliament from Tehran," it said.

Authorities say they have focused their attention so far on South Tehran, a traditionalist stronghold widely seen as the most favourable grounds for Rafsanjani, a pragmatic cleric and veteran revolutionary.


'New Revolution' Possible for Iran

The Los Angeles Times

February 23, 2000

Iran's reform-minded President Mohammad Khatami now has the chance to make good on the promises that swept him into office three years ago. In an echo of that overwhelming victory, Iranians have elected a parliament in which moderates will predominate, ending 20 years of control by advocates of strict Islamic rule. Leaders of the reformist bloc say that when the legislature convenes in May they will move quickly to guarantee freedom of expression, safeguard the privacy of citizens and make real the civil rights provided by the constitution.

Iran may be standing on the edge of a second revolution, this one based on popular mandate and the rule of law. Khatami and the parliamentary reformers must nonetheless proceed cautiously. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's constitutionally designated supreme leader, retains control over the military and has the final say in foreign policy and religious matters. The 12 appointed members of the Council of Guardians can reject any legislation passed by the parliament. Much of what the reformers hope to do would impinge on the religious powers of the clerical conservatives, as well as their economic interests.

The reformers say they have no intention of doing away with Islamic law or showing disrespect to the clergy. Their aim is to achieve a civil order based on democratic principles. But the incompatibility of those principles with theocratic rule is apparent to all. Authoritarianism, religious or secular, can't exist side by side with a free press, a pluralistic political system and guaranteed civil liberties. One or the other must give way.

The U.S. State Department has welcomed the election results as a sign that Iran is moving toward greater freedom. But the newly empowered moderates have been quick to assert that major obstacles stand in the way of improved relations with Washington, and such dialogue is unlikely to be among their key priorities, at least until that aim is approved by Ayatollah Khamenei. But that is no reason not to be encouraged by the election results.

The people of Iran have made clear they aspire to a life that is freer socially, intellectually and politically. Change might come more slowly than many want, but the mechanism for fostering change is now in place.


Marvi to Handle Case of Serial of Murders

Tehran Times By Our Staff Writer


TEHRAN The Military Judiciary Complex will soon hand over the case of serial murders to the Judiciary, an informed source said.

The case of serial murders is the most complicated and at the same time most controversial one in the post-Islamic Revolution Iran. In 1998 four dissident politicians and writers, Mohammad Mokhtari, Mohammad Pouyandeh, Dariush Forouhar and Parvaneh Forouhar were murdered by a group of rogue elements of the Information Ministry. The rouge elements were arrested after the Leader Ayatollah Khamenei asked the officials to probe the case and President Khatami set up a committee to investigate the murders.

The mastermind behind the killings, Saeid Emami, once a deputy information minister, committed suicide in a Tehran jail by swallowing depilatory power. The source talking to the TEHRAN TIMES said, the case will be followed up by the Deputy Judiciary Chief, Hadi Marvi. Niazi will be no more in charge of the case.

Marvi is a close aid of President Khatami. When the case of the former mayor Gholamhossein Karbaschi was under investigation, President Khatami appointed Marvi as his representative to watch the process of investigation.

The source also said that Marvi has been appointed by President Khatami as a special judge to issue rulings on eavesdropping in vital cases.

At one stage President Khatami urged the Judiciary chief to play an active role to accelerate the pace of the investigation in the murder case. Now the case is totally under the Judiciary with Marvi responsible for it, the source said and expressed hope that it will be completed as soon as possible. Given Marvi's close relations with President Khatami, the two branches of government, that is, the Judiciary and Executive will demonstrate a good cooperation to finalize the case, he added.


'Why Do You Talk About Killing?'

The Newsweek By Christopher Dickey

February 22, 2000

Ali Fallahian, perhaps the most feared mullah in Iran, was laughing with a fat man's gusto. He sat on a carpet among his supporters in his Isfahan campaign headquarters, confident he would win a seat in Iran's parliament once results were tabulated from last Friday's elections. From 1989 to 1997, this portly cleric was Iran's minister of intelligence. French and German investigators allege that during that time he was behind the savage murder of the Islamic regime's political opponents abroad. American investigators say his intelligence operation may have been linked to the 1996 bombing of the Khobar apartments in Saudi Arabia, which cost 19 Americans their lives. And inside Iran, Fallahian's top deputy and dozens of subordinates were arrested last year for the murder of four intellectuals in the winter of 1998-1999, after Fallahian left office. The Tehran press claims another 60 to 80 people were killed by Fallahian's people while he was still in power. Speaking through a translator, Fallahian, 50, met last week with Newsweek's Christopher Dickey. Excerpts:

NEWSWEEK: Just to clarify details, you were the minister of intelligence when Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was president. Is that right? FALLAHIAN: [After a long pause] I was minister of intelligence during Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani's presidency. But I am not an intelligence personality. I am a member of the leadership's Assembly of Experts. That's where the clerics gather to choose the Supreme Leader.

NEWSWEEK: How did you learn your job? FALLAHIAN: We were in constant struggle against the Shah's regime and after the [1979] revolution we witnessed many turbulences. I learned expertise in intelligence by experience. Management and intelligence work should be in your blood.

NEWSWEEK: There were many incidents during your term as— FALLAHIAN: No. I was not involved in these. And these people who allowed our opposition into their country [France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Turkey were among the countries where members of the Iranian opposition were murdered], who increased the range of the missiles and gave chemical weapons to Saddam [a reference to the support some German companies gave Iraq during its 1980-88 war with Iran], and who are strengthening the opponents of our country and our nation—these were the people responsible.

NEWSWEEK: Who was doing the killing? FALLAHIAN: In general we can say that these little [opposition] groups are fighting with each other. These killings just give them the opportunity to insult us a little more.

NEWSWEEK: What about the bombing of the Khobar apartments in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia? American investigators have linked that to Iran. FALLAHIAN: It's obvious that Iran didn't have anything to do with the killing in Khobar.

NEWSWEEK: Do you have any idea who did? FALLAHIAN: Give me the files and give me a lot of money and I will find out. [Much laughter among the former minister's entourage.]

NEWSWEEK: How can the United States and Iran improve relations? FALLAHIAN: The good moment is when you have no sanctions against us and you recognize the Iranian peoples' rights. And when the Americans are willing to talk to the Iranians on an equal basis.

NEWSWEEK: President Clinton said this week he hoped for "a constructive partnership with Iran." FALLAHIAN: Unfortunately his words are in contradiction with his deeds because he signed the sanctions with seven or eight different pens. Politicians's words are contrary to their deeds.

NEWSWEEK: That's not the case with you, of course. FALLAHIAN: I am a cleric, and a cleric is honest.

NEWSWEEK: Will you be elected, and while we're at it, do you think your old boss Rafsanjani will become speaker? FALLAHIAN: I hope so—that I will be elected. And regarding Mr. Rafsanjani being speaker, it depends on which fraction wins the majority in parliament. He will be elected to the parliament.

NEWSWEEK: A senior official of the Intelligence Ministry, Said Emami— FALLAHIAN: [In English] Return to killing. Return to killing. Why do you talk about killing? [He laughs and his supporters laugh with him.]

NEWSWEEK: Emami, who reportedly committed suicide last summer, was implicated in the murder of intellectuals here. Was he your deputy when you were minister? FALLAHIAN: [Nods yes]

NEWSWEEK: Was he killing people when he was your deputy? Press reports say there may have been 60 to 80 people murdered? FALLAHIAN: No. It's a lie.

NEWSWEEK: What did happen? FALLAHIAN: Some of these killings did not have anything to do with the ministry of intelligence. It had to do with fighting between groups. And it would not be between 60 and 80 killed, as they say.

NEWSWEEK: So who was responsible? FALLAHIAN: Some people were killed and they say Said Emami was responsible. We do not think that was the case. They say Said Emami was responsible for the killings that took place a year and a half ago, after my tenure as minister. They would like to make him responsible for killing during my ministry.

NEWSWEEK: Were you surprised by the revelations about Emami? FALLAHIAN: [Nods yes] I was shocked by this news. But he was not a bad guy and I don't think he did those killings. Correction, he was not a bad guy during my ministry. I don't know what happened after that.

NEWSWEEK: Where did he come from? How did you come to hire him? FALLAHIAN: When I became the minister he was one of the managers at the ministry.

NEWSWEEK: So he was already there. FALLAHIAN: [Nods yes]

NEWSWEEK: What was his background? FALLAHIAN: He was an aeronautical engineer. He was studying in your country [the United States].

NEWSWEEK: Was that before or after he was working for your service? FALLAHIAN: He was young. He studied in your country before he was in the intelligence service.

NEWSWEEK: About 30 other people at the ministry have been arrested for the killings of the four intellectuals. Who were those people? FALLAHIAN: These people who have killed, they have confessed. They have been arrested. The accusation is that Said Emami directed these people.

NEWSWEEK: Did you know them when you were minister? FALLAHIAN: I knew them, and you can read their names in the papers.

NEWSWEEK: So they worked for you. FALLAHIAN: [Nods yes]

NEWSWEEK: Were you surprised when they were arrested? FALLAHIAN: [Nods yes]

NEWSWEEK: Some defenders of the ministry claim that Emami and his group were agents of a foreign power, perhaps the United States or Israel. Do you think that's true? FALLAHIAN: That's one of the possibilities. But I cannot review the files right now. I have had no relations with the ministry of intelligence for the past two years.

NEWSWEEK PHOTOGRAPHER PETER TURNLEY: What kind of man becomes head of an intelligence service? FALLAHIAN: [His eyes narrowing] You are a photographer.

NEWSWEEK: A photographer can ask questions. What kind of man becomes an intelligence chief? FALLAHIAN: Someone who has done intelligence work in the disguise of a reporter or photographer—and has done some management and studied more until he advances. But that's just for a deputy intelligence chief. The minister of intelligence is just a political person.

TURNLEY: What kind of man becomes the minister of intelligence in Iran? FALLAHIAN: The minister should have enough political, legal and religious knowledge to do the job.

TURNLEY: So you were never a photographer. FALLAHIAN: [Does not smile. Shakes head no]

NEWSWEEK: Where do you go to find out if you have the religious authority to do the kinds of things an Iranian intelligence minister does? FALLAHIAN: I would ask myself. I am a religious authority myself. And someone who is minister of intelligence and a member of the Assembly of Experts has to be a religious authority. I am that.

NEWSWEEK: Aren't you tired of conflict with the United States? FALLAHIAN: You started it.


Some 92,500 Iranian haj pilgrims expected

TEHRAN, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Some 92,500 Iranians are expected to travel to Saudi Arabia for the haj pilgrimage this year, the official Iranian news agency IRNA reported on Thursday.

It said 12,500 pilgrims had already arrived in the kingdom for the pilgrimage which officially starts on March 14.

Iranian pilgrims have said they will stage a rally to denounce the United States and Israel when the haj reaches its climax on March 15 with a march to Mount Arafat, site of Prophet Mohammed's last sermon 14 centuries ago.

Shi'ite Iran says Moslems should seize the opportunity during haj, which attracts more than two million pilgrims, to promote unity among Moslems and air political grievances against Israel and the United States as enemies of Islam.

Saudi Arabia says the pilgrimage is purely religious and should not be politicised.


US Senate overwhelmingly passes Iran non-proliferation bill

WASHINGTON, Feb 24 (AFP) - The US Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a bill aimed at punishing Russia and other nations deemed to be aiding efforts by Iran to acquire weapons of mass destruction.

Senators voted 98-0 for the Iran Non-Proliferation Act, which empowers but does not require the president to slap sanctions or cut US military aid to countries transferring materials Iran could use to develop nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons or missile technology.


Iran Says Reformist Victory Will Not Shape U.S. Ties

TEHRAN (Reuters) Feb. 24 - Iran radio warned arch-foe the United States Thursday there would be no concessions from Tehran following a big reformist victory in last week's parliamentary polls.

In a commentary, state radio said the nation was united in its demands for practical steps by Washington to break the diplomatic freeze between the two former allies.

"America should not wait for changes in Iran, for there is a consensus among the entire Iranian nation to safeguard its national interests and it will not make concessions to its number one enemy," the radio said.

The commentary follows similar remarks by victorious leaders of the biggest pro-reform coalition, which is close to President Mohammad Khatami.

Western governments have welcomed the reformist victory in the Feb. 18 poll, with some analysts suggesting it might provide an opening for renewal of ties between the United States and Iran, broken after the 1979 takeover of the U.S. embassy.

The radio said Washington had so far refused to take any firm steps to repair relations, such as ending its unilateral sanctions, easing its opposition to World Bank loans and dropping allegations Iran was out to acquire weapons of mass destruction.

Instead, the United States, the biggest supporter of the deposed monarchy, should apologize for its past actions against the Iranian people.

"If the American statesmen would truly like the Islamic Republic of Iran to reconsider its relations with the American administration, they should respect the interests of this great nation.

"By apologizing for their past hostile deeds and policies, they should give sufficient guarantees that such policies will not be repeated in the future," the radio said.

Cultural and sports contacts between the two states have increased since President Khatami took office in August 1997, but there has been nothing approaching a political breakthrough.


Washington rules out taking Iran off 'terrorist' list

WASHINGTON, Feb 23 (AFP) - In the aftermath of the legislative elections Friday in which Reformist candidates swept the board, the United States continues to regard Iran as a country which supports terrorism, the State Department said. "We have substantial information to justify our placing Iran on the terrorist list," published by the US authorities each year, State Department spokesman James Rubin said Wednesday.

"The United States does not believe that conditions favor restarting World Bank lending to Iran at this time ... We will not therefore support any loan to Iran that comes to the World Bank's executive board," Rubin said, adding however that he did not know of any proposal for resumed lending currently under consideration.

Washington opposes multilateral lending to countries it has placed on its "terrorist" list.

For such lending to resume, Iran should "make progress on a number of fronts ... including pursuing economic reform and abandoning support for terrorism," Rubin said.

However he reiterated US support for the victory of reformers aligned with reformist President Mohammad Khatami.

With the vote count still being completed, reformers were reported by late Tuesday to have won 141 seats nationwide in the 290-member legislature, compared with 44 for conservative candidates.

"Iran's elections are a positive development for Iranian democracy and we believe for the prospect of better US-Iranian relations as well," Rubin said.

There had been "an unmistakable demonstration of support for the policies of openness and engagement," he added. "It is our hope that the popular mandate enjoyed by the new parliament will set Iran on a new course towards a new constructive role in the region."

The United States broke off diplomatic relations with Iran in 1980 and has operated an economic embargo on the country since 1995.


Rooz Khosh..! Good Day..!

Don't forget that any protest against the Death sentences might save the Students...

They need your help.......

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