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June 28

Judicial chief rejects calls to end newspaper closings

TEHRAN, June 28 (AFP) - Iranian judicial chief Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi-Shahrudi has rejected calls from parliament to stop shutting down newspapers, a response reformers say is "unacceptable." Shahrudi, in a letter read to parliament Tuesday, said the judiciary's decision to close down more than a dozen newspapers was "independent and made without bias." >>> FULL TEXT

Court starts open trial of suspended papers

TEHRAN (June 28) XINHUA - Iran on Wednesday started the first open trial of the papers and journals suspended in recent months for disparaging Islam and religious elements of the Islamic revolution. The first trial started at Branch 1410 of Tehran's Public Court, scheduled to hear the case against Mostafa Izadi, managing director of the suspended weekly "Ava" (Voice), the Islamic Republic News Agency reported >>> FULL TEXT

Judiciary asks for permanent closing of reformist weekly

TEHRAN, June 28 (AFP) - An Iranian court asked Wednesday for the permanent closing of the pro-reform weekly Ava, which was suspended in a recent government crackdown on 13 daily newspapers and five other periodicals, the official IRNA news agency reported. "Ava's director and journalists must be punished and its authorization to publish must be permanently annulled," the press court prosecutor, Ali Asghar Tashakori, said in the first hearing of a string of cases against the suspended publications >>> FULL TEXT

June 27

Pressure for free press

TEHRAN, Iran ­­ Iran's supreme leader urged the conservative judiciary Tuesday not to yield to reformist pressure for greater press freedom. In a statement broadcast on state radio, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told judges that they had to punish criminals irrespective of their political affiliations >>> FULL TEXT

June 26

Court orders Sahabi jailed

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - A hard-line Iranian court ordered a leading dissident imprisoned Monday, continuing its crackdown on journalists and reformists demanding greater freedoms. Ezatollah Sahabi, the editor of a magazine among 19 pro-democracy publications banned since April, was reportedly detained in connection with a conference he attended in Germany >>> FULL TEXT

110,000 sign petition to free journalists

TEHRAN, June 26 (AFP) - A petition signed by 110,00 people, mostly students, calling for the release of jailed journalists has been presented to the Iranian judiciary, an Islamic student association in Tehran told AFP Monday. The petition was submitted late Sunday to the head of the country's court system, Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi Shahrudi, according to a representative of the association of Tehran University's faculty of literature and humanities >>> FULL TEXT

June 25

19th newspaper banned

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's hard-line judiciary closed another reformist newspaper Sunday and defended its media crackdown as a way of upholding the country's Islamic principles. Bayan became the 19th newspaper ordered to shut down in the past two months. Its closure coincided with a Tehran Justice Ministry statement responding to a letter from 151 lawmakers that had urged an end to such measures, saying they had tarnished Iran's reputation at home and abroad >>> FULL TEXT

June 22

Khatami protested against silencing papers: report

TEHRAN, June 22 (AFP) - President Mohammad Khatami protested to the chief of the conservative-dominated judicial system last month against the wave of closures of pro-reform newspapers, the Iranian press reported Thursday. Khatami "supported the newspapers" and "sent a message in the form of a constitutional warning" to Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi Shahrudi, said new pro-reform newspaper Hayat-e-no, which is run by Hadi Khamenei, brother of the Islamic republic's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei >>> FULL TEXT

June 21

Hajjarian ready to appear in court

Tehran (Bahar) -- Saeed Hajjarian, leading reformist whose newspaper was shut down for alleged press violations, has told his lawyer that he is prepared to appear in court despite not having fully recovered following last february's assassination attempt >>> FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

Akbar Ganji's third letter to judiciary chief

Tehran (Bahar) -- Political columnist Akbar Ganji, detained for his "anti-Islamic" comments at the Berlin conference, has written yet another letter to the judiciary chie >>> FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

Reformists See Room for a Better Iran

Los Angeles Times
June 21, 2000

TEHRAN--The once-bustling offices at 15 Taheri St. are eerily silent, the corridors empty of life, the computers shut down, the lights off. Gone are the young reporters who defiantly worked here for two years--through constant criticism by conservatives, frequent charges by the judiciary, occasional jailings of the editor and publisher and, finally, five renamed versions of the same paper banned over and over again. One version lasted only a day FULL TEXT

June 18

Reformers urge rights respect

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's new reformist legislature warned the hard-line judiciary Sunday that its ``illegal behavior'' toward the press has damaged the country's international image, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported. A letter signed by 151 lawmakers called on the head of the judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, to ``put an end to illegal and politically motivated closure of newspapers.'' >>> FULL TEXT

Docs remove Hajjarian's bullet

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Doctors have removed a bullet from the neck of a leading reformer who was shot and critically wounded last March in an assassination attempt, a close aide said Sunday. Saeed Hajjarian was discharged from the hospital after the surgery Saturday and has returned home, said the aide, who identified himself only as Tajik >>> FULL TEXT

June 17

Publisher imprisoned

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - An Iranian publisher has been imprisoned for insulting Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, during the February election campaign, newspapers reported Saturday. Alireza Khoshandam, who runs a small book-publishing house called Creative Dialogue Publications, was prosecuted for remarks made during his unsuccessful bid to gain election to parliament >>> FULL TEXT

June 15

Call for release of Berlin detainees

Tehran (Bahar) -- About a hundred academics in the Middle East, Europe and the U.S., including Noam Chomsky, have a written a letter to Judiciary chief Shahroudi calling for the release of those who were detained because of their participation in the Berlin conference >>>> FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

June 14

Amnesty International: Annual Report 2000 on Iran

Issues relating to freedom of expression dominated the year. Journalists began to address in print the political, economic and social problems facing Iran and broached issues that had previously been taboo. As the year progressed, a pattern of intimidation, harassment and administrative detention emerged as a mechanism for silencing a range of opinion >>> FULL TEXT

Authorities search reformists' homes: report

TEHRAN, June 14 (AFP) - The homes of three reformist journalists, including the imprisoned Akbar Ganji, were searched under orders of a revolutionary tribunal, the pro-reform newspaper Bayan said Wednesday >>> FULL TEXT

June 12

Directors of banned dailies to appear in court

TEHRAN, 12 June (AFP) - Directors of several banned reformist dailies, including the brother of the Iranian president, Mohammad-Reza Khatami, will appear before the press court "in two weeks," the Head of Iran's Judiciary Abbassali Alizadeh announced Monday >>> FULL TEXT

Reformists seek press freedoms

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - In a bid to fulfill the promises that helped them win parliamentary elections, more than 100 reformist lawmakers have drafted a bill calling for lifting restrictions on media imposed by their predecessors, a lawmaker said Monday. ``Press freedom is the first priority of the new Majlis (parliament),'' Rajabali Mazrouie, a journalist and leading reformist lawmaker, told The Associated Press >>> FULL TEXT

June 11

New pro-reform daily begins publication in Iran

TEHRAN, June 11 (AFP) - A new pro-reform newspaper run by the brother of Iran's supreme spiritual guide Ali Khameini hit Tehran newsstands Sunday, more than a month after most reformist publications were shut down by the government >>> FULL TEXT

June 7

Momentum builds to free Abdollah Nouri

TEHRAN, June 7 (Reuters) - Supporters of the jailed Iranian cleric Abdollah Nouri said on Wednesday that hopes for his release were improving after the head of the new parliament offered to help free him. Associates of Nouri, who was taken from prison earlier this week to hospital for treatment of a slipped disc, said that the parliamentary speaker Mehdi Karroubi had agreed to seek the reformist cleric's freedom >>> FULL TEXT

June 6

Leading Majlis reformist calls for respect for human rights

TEHRAN, June 6 (AFP) - Leading Iranian reformist Mohammad-Reza Khatami made a swingeing attack Tuesday on the abuse of human rights in Iran, including arbitrary arrests, torture and censorship, and called on the new parliament to defend personal freedoms. "Unfortunately, I have to say that the rights of the people as laid down in the constitution are not respected, " Khatami, brother of Iran's President Mohammad Khatami, said in his maiden speech to the reformist-dominated parliament which took office on May 27 >>> FULL TEXT

Reformers aim for free press, expression

TEHRAN, June 6 (Reuters) - Iran's biggest reformist faction, estimating its strength in the new parliament at roughly half the 290 seats, has pledged to push back the boundaries of free expression in the Islamic Republic. Mohsen Mirdomadi, a prominent member of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, was quoted on Tuesday as saying the group would take aim at a restrictive press law passed in the waning days of the old, conservative-led parliament >>> FULL TEXT

June 5

Rohani calls for legal satellite dishes

TEHRAN, June 5 (Reuters) - A prominent political cleric has urged Iran to finally legalise satellite television, arguing that the Islamic Republic is capable of defending its values from undue foreign influence. Hassan Rowhani, secretary of the powerful Supreme National Security Council, said Iran had to open itself up to the outside world and offer its citizens, particularly young people, greater access to modern trends >>> FULL TEXT

Abdollah Nuri hospitalised with neck pain

TEHRAN, June 5 (AFP) - Imprisoned Iranian reformist Abdollah Nuri has been taken from Tehran's Evin prison to hospital after suffering "severe pain" in the vertebrae of his neck, his brother Ali Reza Nuri told AFP Monday. "He was hospitalised on Saturday and will stay there until his pain hasgone," said Ali Reza, who himself is a reformist MP elected in Tehran >>> FULL TEXT

June 1

Khatami adviser summoned to appear before press court

TEHRAN, June 1 (AFP) - A reformist journalist and adviser to Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has been summoned to answer charges before the country's press court, the daily Bahar reported Thursday. Ali Rabii, director of Kar-o-Karegar daily, and his deputy, Morteza Lotfi, have both been the target of numerous complaints from state radio and television, the police and two former MPs, the reformist paper reported >>> FULL TEXT

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