Newspaper editor freed on bail
TEHRAN, Aug 3 (AFP) - The editor of the pro-reform Iranian newspaper
whose closure sparked days of bloody riots was freed on bail by a hardline
religious court on Tuesday, the official IRNA news agency said.
Abbas Abdi, summoned on charges his Salam paper had insulted the clergy
and the Iranian people, was released on the condition he pay some 200
million rials (65,000 dollars).
"He is free until the next phase of the legal proceedings against
him," a court official told IRNA.
The 43-year-old editor is accused of having described people shouting
anti-US slogans as "bandits and outlaws" in a speech he delivered
in the holy city of Qom last year.
It was the third appearance before a revolutionary court for Abdi, who
was imprisoned three years ago in connection with his activities with
The popular and outspoken paper, which is close to reformist President
Mohammad Khatami, was banned last month, sparking student demonstrations
that erupted in violence after protesters were attacked by security forces
and Islamic hardliners.
Salam director Mohammad Khoeinia was convicted last week on a sweeping
array of charges ranging from libel and defamation, to publishing lies
and classified information and insulting members of parliament.
Iran's conseravtive-dominated judiciary has waged a crackdown on the
largely pro-Khatami press in recent months.
At least three pro-Khatami papers have been closed down since the beginning
of the year and dozens of journalists arrested or called in for questioning.