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Nabavi released on bail

November 19, Teheran (dpa) - Popular Iranian satirist Ebrahim Nabavi has been released on bail after four months in prison, the Teheran daily Iran reported Sunday. See interview

Nabavi was released Saturday from the notorious Evin prison in northern Teheran after he paid bail amounting to 200 million Rials (66,000 dollars at the official rate), the report said.

The satirist is one of dozens of reformist journalists who have been are detained on charges of press violation. Their publications have also been banned.

In court last Wednesday Nabavi apologised to officials whom he has allegedly insulted.

Before his arrest, Nabavi was in Canada and predicted that he would be arrested upon his return to Iran.

He told the Canadian-Iranian Centre for Liberty & Equality that the reformist movement in Iran ``could in no way be stopped or set back'' and predicted ``the end'' of the reform opponents.

Nabavi is well known for having once remarked that Iran is an exceptional country as ``the president over there is simultaneously the leader of the opposition''.

This was a reference to president Mohammad Khatami whose reform oriented course has been strongly criticised by the conservative clergy.

More than 20 liberal dailies have been closed down by the conservative opposition in the judiciary within the last eight months and the crackdown continues.

On Saturday and Sunday, many walls in Teheran were scribbled with slogans against Attaollah Mohajerani, the liberal culture minister and advocate of free press.


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