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November 30

Akbar Ganji on trial names names in serial murders case

TEHRAN, Nov 30 (AFP) - A reformist journalist on trial in Tehran Thursday accused a senior judge of ordering the murder of a communist militant and a group of conservative clerics of being behind other killings of dissidents and intellectuals. Akbar Ganji named names at his trial before a revolutionary court over his participation with other reformists at a conference in Berlin in April which was deemed un-Islamic by conservative Iranian authorities >>> FULL TEXT

Ganji tries to turn tables on Iranian justice system

TEHRAN, Nov 30 (AFP) - The trial of a key figure in a controversial conference deemed "anti-Islamic" edged towards farce Thursday as he blamed Iran's authorities for letting him attend, charging them with double standards. Journalist Akbar Ganji was appearing before Tehran's revolutionary court for the second time in the trial over the conference on Iran held in Berlin in early April, for which 17 others are also facing prosecution >>> FULL TEXT

Ganji Accuses Official

November 30, 2000 TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- In a daring allegation, Iran's leading investigative journalist on Thursday accused former Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahian of ordering the killing of political dissidents two years ago. In court, Ganji also openly challenged Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei >>> FULL TEXT

Iran arrests distributors of report on dissident killings

TEHRAN, Nov 30 (AFP) - Iran has arrested several people charged with distributing an 80-page report which implicates a number of authorities in the shock 1998 serial murders of several dissidents and intellectuals, press reports said Thursday. The centrist Entekhab paper cited Intelligence Minister Ali Yunessi as saying that several people, accused of distributing the undercover "night letter", had been identifed and arrested recently >>> FULL TEXT


November 29

Press court bans leading youth magazine

TEHRAN, Nov 29 (AFP) - Iran's conservative-run press court on Tuesday banned the nation's largest-circulation youth magazine, Iran-e Javan, its director Behrouz Behzadi told AFP. "This magazine was like my own child," Behzadi said after the Tehran court closed the popular weekly, whose circulation of 100,000 he said made it the top-selling magazine in Iran >>> FULL TEXT

November 28

Press board approves 17 new publications

TEHRAN, Nov 28 (AFP) - Iran's culture ministry, a target of conservative anger over its handling of the press, has given the green light to more than a dozen new publications, the official IRNA news agency said Tuesday. It said the ministry's press supervisory board on Monday approved 17 new publications on various topics, including economics, politics, psychology and science. None of the permits were for daily newspapers >>> FULL TEXT

November 27

Reformists call for open trial of suspected assassins

TEHRAN, Nov 27 (AFP) - The largest reformist party called Monday for the courts to make public next month's long-awaited trial of the suspected assassins of five dissidents and intellectuals in 1998. The Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF), headed by President Mohammad Khatami's brother Mohammad-Reza, said the case was a "big test" for the conservative-run judiciary >>> FULL

November 24

18 to be tried for serial murders

TEHRAN, Nov 24 (AFP) - Eighteen people will go on trial in Iran on December 23 for the killing of five political dissidents in late 1998, state television quoted the deputy head of the judiciary as saying Thursday. "Three of the 18 will be tried as the principals in the murders and the 15 others as accomplices," Hojatoleslam Hadi Marvi said >>> FULL TEXT

November 22

Trial for serial killers of dissidents to begin next month

TEHRAN, Nov 22 (AFP) - The much-anticipated trial of the suspects inthe shock 1998 serial murders of several Iranian dissidents and intellectualswill open in military court next month, state radio said Wednesday. The announcement of the December 23 trial date comes a day after violentclashes between police and protesters in Tehran following a memorialservice for two of the victims >>> FULL TEXT

November 21

Police clash with youth after memorial service

TEHRAN, Nov 21 (AFP) - Police clashed with young people exiting a ceremony in Tehran on Tuesday marking the second anniversary of the assassination of a nationalist political leader and his wife, an AFP reporter said >>> FULL TEXT

Akbar Ganji calls off hunger strike: IRNA

TEHRAN, Nov 21 (AFP) - An outspoken pro-reform Iranian journalist who said he has been tortured in prison called off his hunger strike Tuesday, the official IRNA news agency said. It said Akbar Ganji, jailed over articles linking former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani to the 1998 murders of several dissidents, had agreed to end the strike but was still demanding his rights as a prisoner >>> FULL TEXT

November 20

Top reformist summoned

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's hard-line judiciary has summoned a key ally of reformist President Mohammad Khatami to court for his alleged role in riots in August, a newspaper reported Monday >>> FULL TEXT

November 19

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 >>> FULL TEXT

November 15

Satirist apologizes in court

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - In testimony as funny as it was serious, Iran's leading satirist pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge of insulting government officials and apologized for lampooning them in his writings. Ever the comic, Ebrahim Nabavi cracked a joke at the expense of his own lawyer that provoked guffaws of laughter around the courtroom. When the lawyer questioned the legality of a trial without a jury, Nabavi intervened to say he had no objection >>> FULL TEXT

November 14

Sahabi defends participation in "un-Islamic" Berlin seminar

TEHRAN, Nov 14 (AFP) - Iranian dissident nationalist Ezzatolah Sahabi on Tuesday rejected charges against him for attending a controversial seminar in Berlin, telling a court he went to the conference for the benefit of Iran. "Participating in a conference in a country that has relations with Iran is not a crime," he said, quoted by the state news agency IRNA >>> FULL TEXT

November 13

New pro-reform paper hits newsstands

TEHRAN, Nov 13 (AFP) - A new pro-reform daily hit Iran's newsstands on Monday, the fourth press launch in three months after a sweeping crackdown on the nation's newspapers. Doran-e Emrouz (Today's Era) said in its inaugural editorial that it would focus on "expanding awareness and distributing correct information." >>> FULL TEXT

Prison officials deny Ganji's claims of torture in jail

TEHRAN, Nov 13 (AFP) - Iranian prison officials on Monday denied claims by a prominent pro-reform journalist that he has been tortured by guards in Tehran's Evin prison. "The allegations by Akbar Ganji are completely false and aimed at creating an atmosphere of blackmail," the prisons authority said in a communique published in the conservative Ressalat newspaper >>> FULL TEXT

Hajjarian back at work after assassination bid

TEHRAN, Nov 13 (AFP) - Pro-reform Iranian politician Said Hajarian, who barely escaped alive from an assassination attempt in March, went back to work Monday, press reports said. "I'm sorry I haven't been able to do anything for the people during my convalescence," the Kayhan paper quoted him saying as he returned to Tehran City Hall in the wheelchair he will likely be confined to for the rest of his life >>> FULL TEXT

November 10

German group calls on Berlin to support Iranian reformers on trial

BERLIN, Nov 10 (AFP) - The German government was urged Friday to consider withholding investments in Iran in response to Tehran's decision to put on trial a group of reformers who attended a conference in Berlin earlier this year. The conference, co-organised by reformers from Tehran and Germany's Heinrich Boell Foundation which is closely linked to the German Greens party, was considered "anti-Islamic" by Iran >>> FULL TEXT

UN committee calls on Iran to respect due process of law

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 10 (AFP) - Expressing concern about executions and torture, the human rights committee of the UN General Assembly has called on Iran to respect due process of law. The committee Thursday voted by 58 to 53, with 48 abstentions, for a resolution calling on the Islamic government "to ensure that capital punishment will not be imposed for crimes other than the most serious." >>> FULL TEXT

November 9

Akbar Ganji says he was tortured in prison

TEHRAN, Nov 9 (AFP) - Prominent pro-reform Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji told reporters Thursday he had been tortured in prison when he arrived at Tehran's revolutionary court for trial in connection with an "anti-Islamic" political conference in Berlin earlier this year. The outspoken journalist and ally of reformist President Mohammad Khatami was hauled into court by prison guards, where he told reporters that he had been "beaten and tortured by four people" while in prison >>> FULL TEXT

Prosecutor demands death penalty in Berlin seminar trial

TEHRAN, Nov 9 (AFP) - The prosecution in Tehran's revolutionary court asked Thursday for a death sentence against a former communist, Khalil Rostam-Khani, 47, who is alleged to have organised an "anti-Islamic" conference in Berlin in April. Prosecutor Abdollah Sharifi said Rostam-Khani should be sentenced under article 186 of Iran's penal code which prescribes the death penalty for "waging war on God." >>> FULL TEXT


November 8

Reformist decries hard-liners

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - A leading Iranian lawmaker on Tuesday urged President Mohammad Khatami to condemn the tactics of his hard-line opponents in closing liberal newspapers and trying to roll back democratic reforms. ``I call on the president not to remain silent,'' Behzad Nabavi, a reformist who is deputy speaker of parliament, or Majlis, told lawmakers >>> FULL TEXT

November 6

Students demonstrate for freedom of jailed intellectuals

TEHRAN, Oct 6 (AFP) - About 500 students rallied Monday at Tehran University to call for democracy and the release of intellectuals and journalists jailed by the Judiciary. "Free political prisoners!" and "Reform the judiciary!" chanted the students, who were organized by the Office to Consolidate Unity (OCU), a pro-reform student movement that ardently supports President Mohammad Khatami >>> FULL TEXT

Iran indicts five abroad, including German, over conference: IRNA

TEHRAN, Nov 6 (AFP) - Iran's judiciary has indicted five people residing abroad, including a German national, for acting against national security at a controversial political conference, the state IRNA news agency said Monday. The five have been charged with "waging blatant propaganda against the Islamic republic" as well as cooperating with the outlawed opposition People's Mujahedeen, IRNA said, citing a "reliable" judicial source >>> FULL TEXT

Jailed journalist threatens hunger strike over prison safety

TEHRAN, Nov 6 (AFP) - Jailed pro-reform Iranian journalist Ahmad Zeid-Abadi has threatened a hunger strike to protest security after he said his cell-mate was stabbed in his sleep, his wife announced Monday. In a fax sent to AFP, she said her husband -- who has been in prison since August -- had complained of little response from prison authorities and that telephone lines for prisoners had been cut after inmate protests >>> FULL TEXT

November 5

Iran holds open session of trial over Berlin conference

TEHRAN, Nov 5 (AFP) - Iranian intellectuals, journalists and students appeared in a Tehran revolutionary court Sunday, on trial for taking part in a controversial "anti-Islamic" political conference in Berlin. Newspaper publisher Shahla Sherkat, journalist Hamid-Reza Jalaipour, writer Khadijeh Haj Dini-Moghadam and others, including a translator for the German embassy, apeared at the open session >>> FULL TEXT

Parliament upholds press bill and sets showdown with conservatives

TEHRAN, Nov 5 (AFP) - The reform-majority parliament on Sunday upheld a bill it passed last week to ease curbs on the press which had been overruled by a powerful conservative oversight body, state radio reported. The move sets up a showdown with the conservative-led Guardians Council, which said the measure -- allowing papers to change from weekly to daily or regional to national publication without prior approval from police -- contradicted Islamic law >>> FULL TEXT

Ezzatollah Sahabi is threatened by hardliners

TEHRAN, Nov 5 (AFP) - Dissident opposition leader Ezzatollah Sahabi was blocked from attending a political rally last week by gangs of hardliners, he said in an open letter Sunday. "I was threatened by fundamentalist groups in the city of Andimeshk where I had been invited to lecture on the nation's political situation," he said in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by AFP >>> FULL TEXT

November 2

Human Rights Watch condemns "Berlin" trial

November 2, 2000, New York (Human Rights Watch)-- In an open letter sent to Iran's chief judicial official, Human Rights Watch called for an end to the prosecution of prominent independent and reformist figures who attended an international conference last April. Human Rights Watch sent the open letter to the Head of Iran's judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi. At least twelve activists and writers now face charges of "engaging in propaganda against the national security of Iran." >>> FULL TEXT

November 1

Guardian Council says softer press law "contradicts" Islam

TEHRAN, Nov 1 (AFP) - A conservative-led Iranian oversight body has overruled the pro-reform parliament's bid to close a legal loophole used to shutter much of the nation's press, reports said Wednesday. The powerful Council of Guardians rebuffed a parliamentary motion allowing papers to change from weekly to daily or regional to national publication without prior approval as "contradicting Islamic law >>> FULL TEXT

Courts to make "anti-Islamic" political trial public

TEHRAN, Nov 1 (AFP) - Iran's judiciary has decided to make public the trial of several leading reformists who attended a controversial "anti-Islamic" political conference, press reports said Wednesday. The decision to open the doors of the trial, which includes several close allies of President Mohammad Khatami, came following "multiple demands," newspapers reported. No further details were given >>> FULL TEXT

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