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5 Iranian Pressmen Arrested for Role in Unrest

TEHRAN (July 20) XINHUA - Five persons working for moderate dailies have been arrested on charge of involvement in recent unrest in Tehran.

An informed source said the five people are from Zan (women), Khordad (name of the third Iranian month), Neshat (Joy), and Azad (Freedom), the favorite dailies of the Iranian people, particularly of the youth, the pro-conservative daily Tehran Times reported on Tuesday.

The interrogation is underway and the details about their role in the recent unrest will be revealed in the near future, the source said.

Tehran Times also quoted another source as saying that Iran's Supreme National Security Council headed by President Mohammad Khatami have formed a six-member investigation committee to probe into the unrest.

The Iranian security and intelligence bodies have started a wide-range search for those who have been involved in the recent unrest triggered by student protests against restriction on the press and the closure of moderate dailies.

The Iranian authorities have blamed the six-day unrest on exiled opposition groups, and the state-run television on Monday evening broadcast pieces of confession by some arrested people about their contact with Iranian opposition groups in the United States.

Conservative judicial officials Monday also warned the country's freedom-seeking press, individuals and groups against publishing any "provocative articles and statements."

The judiciary chief Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi said that "such seditious acts, no matter on whose part they are, will be encountered legally and strictly."


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