TITLE=IRAN / PRESS CRACKDOWN (L-O)
INTRO: Iran's press crackdown continues; the
conservative press court has suspended 14 pro-
reformist publications until further notice. But, as
Lisa Bryant reports from Cairo, the court ended its
ban on one daily newspaper.
TEXT: After closing 14 newspapers and journals in two
days, judiciary officials later lifted a ban on the
daily Sobh-e-Emruz newspaper late Monday. The
newspaper lashed out Tuesday at the press crackdown in
an editorial, and said conservative hard-liners had,
in its words - no standing with the public.
The newspaper is headed by a pro-reformist journalist,
Saeed Hajjarian, who was shot and seriously wounded in
March. It is not clear who attacked Mr. Hajjarian,
although the trial of eight suspects in his shooting
Hundreds of students in Tehran stayed away from
classes, and demonstrated to protest the press
crackdown and to express their support for President
Iran's press has flourished under Mr. Khatami, who is
a former journalist.
The president's brother, Mohammed-Reza Khatami, heads
a newspaper - one of the few reformist publications
not included in the press ban. But even the
president's brother - who was recently elected to
parliament - has not escaped censure. He has been
summoned to court on charges of violating press
In addition, two prominent journalists were imprisoned
Saturday and Sunday, and last week Iran's parliament
passed tough new press restrictions. The country's
conservative spiritual leader, Ayatollah Khameini,
harshly criticized what he called un-Islamic elements
in the media.
Iran's press court defends the crackdown as a way to
stop what it considers enemy elements in the press
from attacking the values of the country's 1979
Islamic revolution. Conservative politicians, some
journalists, and hard-line clerics have echoed this
argument, and criticized the publications for failing
to promote Islamic values.
But critics say the crackdowns reflect a larger
conservative backlash against reformists, who swept
the polls in parliamentary elections in February.
Since then, some reformist gains have been eroded by
Iran's conservative Council of Guardians. The body,
which controls legislative matters, has voided wins by
10-reformists. It also has not yet validated first-
round election results, or set a date for run-offs.
25-Apr-2000 12:05 PM EDT (25-Apr-2000 1605 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list