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Wives of jailed journalists demand visiting, telephone rights

TEHRAN, Oct 5 (AFP) - Wives of imprisoned Iranian journalists called on MPs Wednesday to intervene on behalf of their husbands, who they say have been deprived of visiting and telephone rights, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Speaking on behalf of the women, Fariba Abbassgholi-Zadeh said that her husband, Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, as well as Emmadeddin Baghi, Akbar Ganji, Latif Safari, Hassan Yussefi Ashkevari and Ahmad Zidabadi, have been prohibited from receiving visits or making telephone calls for the past two weeks.

Shamsolvaezin, who was director of the Neshat daily newspaper, was jailed for having authorized an article condemning the death penalty and for links with a publishing house that backed reformist newspapers.

His wife said the judge told him that if he wanted his conditions to improve he "must repent of what he had done, not bring out the newspaper again and retract his accusations" against Iranian justice.

But she said her husband, who considers that he has done nothing wrong, refused.

The conservative-dominated judiciary has shut down 15 reformist newspapers and some 10 magazines since reformists won a parliamentary majority in elections earlier this year.

Fiften journalists and intellectuals, religious and laypeople, all allies of reformist President Mohammad Khatami, are in prison. Several others are free, awaiting trial.


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