Iranian embassy in Canberra 'spying on activist students'
The Australian

THE Iranian embassy in Canberra has been accused of spying on Iranian democracy activists in Australia, collecting intelligence on their activities and reporting back to Tehran, where critics of the regime can face severe punishment.

Pro-democracy campaigners in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra say the embassy monitors articles and protests by political activists and films and photographs those who attend anti-regime rallies and reports back on their activities.

One activist, a 24-year-old student at Melbourne's Monash University, recently learned she had been barred from returning to Iran after the government was informed of her attendance at pro-democracy rallies in Australia and articles she had written that were critical of the Ahmadinejad regime.

A spokesman for pro-democracy group Iran Solidarity Melbourne, Afshin Nikouseresht, said student activists were harassed and abused on campus by pro-regime students whom they suspected of working for the Iranian government. Mr Nikouseresht said one dissident had received anonymous death threats and the students held "well-founded fears" for their future as a result.

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