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DATE=4/25/2000
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
TITLE=IRAN / PRESS CRACKDOWN (L-O)
NUMBER=2-261694
BYLINE=LISA BRYANT
DATELINE=CAIRO
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:
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 
has opened.
Hundreds of students in Tehran stayed away from 
classes, and demonstrated to protest the press 
crackdown and to express their support for President 
Mohammed Khatami.
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 
guidelines. 
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.   
(SIGNED)
NEB/LB/JWH/ENE/RAE
25-Apr-2000 12:05 PM EDT (25-Apr-2000 1605 UTC)
NNNN
Source: Voice of America
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