Neshat director summoned
TEHRAN, Sept 9 (AFP) - Iran's conservative-controlled press court has
summoned the director of a pro-reform daily, banned this week on charges
of publishing "anti-Islamic" articles, press reports said Thursday.
Latif Safari, director of the moderate Neshat daily, banned just five
days ago by the conservative judiciary, has until Sunday to appear before
Tehran's press court following 10 listed complaints against the paper,
Arya newspaper reported.
Neshat, close to reformist President Mohammad Khatami, was closed down
after publishing two controversial articles last week calling for an end
to the death penalty and Iran's strict "eye-for-an-eye" Islamic
law of retribution.
It also published an unprecedented open letter from an opposition leader
questioning the authority of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The paper is accused of "insulting the basic tenets of Islam, as well
as Khamenei," an illegal act under Iranian law.
But editors of the popular daily denounced the ban Monday as a political
ploy to silence Iran's reform movement, and made good their vow to defy
the closure by opening a new daily which hit newsstands across the capital
Neshat is the fourth pro-Khatami paper to be banned this year.