Basra protests turn peaceful, though, but the security presence is causing it, he said.

Iranian official admits that student protesters are being taken to psychiatric institutions – and is calling on the West to intervene

The Guardian has learned that eight people including an elderly woman have taken sick leave from university over fears for their safety due to a student protest.

In recent days students have protested on the streets of Basra, the capital of Basra Governorate, where the demonstrations have been going on for days. They have carried posters that read: “Your life is in the hands of the occupation” and “We are the generation of resistance.”

They have also been holding an alternative paper called Muharraq, which is also published in Arabic and English in a Basra printing press.

In a meeting with Basrah governor Muath al-Khair on Sunday, Ahmad al-Jifri reportedly admitted that he had received information from some university students that their protest was being monitored by the Basra government and that their movements were being monitored.

“Many of them have told me they have been taken to psychiatry institutions. The student protest is being surveilled and the authorities are using the protest to monitor the movements of the students,” Jifri told the Guardian.

He said that the authorities have issued an order to all university campuses in Basra governorate to halt all demonstrations and protests until the security situation in Basra calmed down and there was an end to the demonstrations.

“In Basrah the security presence is being stepped up and on Monday, which is the day of the anniversary of the revolution, police forces are being increased by up to 40,000 people. They are bringing additional forces from the interior ministry and more forces from the Basra police station,” he said.

Jifri also said that the protest in Basra has been turning peaceful, though, although he said this was due to the security presence.

It was reported on Saturday that university student were being detained as a precaution after the Iranian embassy in London was forced to close its offices for two days after an Iranian official, who had worked at the embassy, posted videos on his Facebook page

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