Iranian journalists appeal to Khatami for protection
TEHRAN, April 18 (AFP) - Over 320 Iranian journalists have called on
President Mohammad Khatami to guarantee their legal rights and stop newspaper
"We ask that journalism be recognized as a distinct profession
and be afforded all legal services and support," the journalists
said in a letter to Khatami published by the official IRNA news agency.
The jounalists called for an immediate end to "illogical and illegal"
ways of dealing with the press and asked Khatami to define press violations
clearly and without ambiguity.
They claimed that in the past year eight newspapers and weeklies had
been closed on various "empty pretexts" and said another two
publications were on the verge of being shut down.
The number of newspapers and magazines in Iran has soared since Khatami
came to power in August 1997 but the moderate press is now under mounting
pressure from the powerful conservative wing of the Islamic regime.
Also see "Hamshahri"
news about journalists voicing their concerns