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October 31

Parliament moves to close loophole that helped press crackdown

TEHRAN, Oct 31 (AFP) - The Iranian parliament made a bid Tuesday to block further press closures by passing a motion to wipe out a legal loophole used by the conservative courts to shutter a number of papers. The reform-majority chamber overwhelmingly passed a motion allowing newspaper directors to change from weekly to daily publication without being subjected to a new police investigation >>> FULL TEXT

October 30

Parliament targets censors

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's reformist-dominated parliament moved Sunday to halt a press crackdown by the country's hard-line judiciary, which has ordered more than 30 newspapers to shut in the past six months. The 290-seat Majlis drafted a bill that would bar the judiciary from closing newspapers on grounds that they lack its authorization to operate. Newspaper licenses are issued by the Press Supervisory Board, but the judiciary says publishers need its permission as well >>> FULL TEXT

October 29

Revolutionary court opens trial over "anti-Islamic" Berlin seminar

TEHRAN, Oct 29 (AFP) - A revolutionary court on Sunday opened the closed-door trial of several allies of President Mohammad Khatami who attended a controversial so called "anti-Islamic" conference on reforms in Iran. Only two of the defendants were in court Sunday after the tribunal announced it would try the defendants "in groups," a judicial official said, cited by state television. It did not name the pair >>> FULL TEXT

October 24

Iran says would-be assassins now back in jail

TEHRAN, Oct 24 (Reuters) - The justice department in Iran's capital city said on Tuesday all the would-be assassins of key reform strategist Saeed Hajjarian were now in jail, a day after the department's chief said they had all been let go. Eight men, among them members of the security forces, were sentenced to jail terms after the assassination bid. But when an MP visited a prison in the southern city of Shiraz last week, one of the men supposed to be incarcerated in the jail was not there >>> FULL TEXT

Judiciary closes three more pro-reform newspapers

TEHRAN, Oct 24 (AFP) - Iran's conservative-led judiciary has ordered the closure of three weekly newspapers close to the reform movement, state radio reported on Tuesday >>> FULL TEXT

October 23

Shamsolvaezin winner of press freedom award

New York, October 23, 2000 (Committee to Protect Journalists) -- The winners of the Tenth Annual International Press Freedom Awards are: Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, reformist editor of several now-banned Iranian dailies. Shamsolvaezin was jailed in April after being sentenced to 30 months imprisonment for allegedly insulting Islamic principles in an article that criticized capital punishment in Iran. He is currently serving his term in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison >>> FULL TEXT

Report: Another paper closed

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's hard-line judiciary has ordered a small weekly newspaper to stop publishing and has warned more closures are to come, according to media reports Monday. Reasons for closing Sobh-e-Omid were not made clear, but hard-liners opposed to reforms initiated by President Mohammad Khatami have shut down more than two dozen pro-democracy publications in recent months in a bid to weaken his power base >>> FULL TEXT

Court reduces jail term of pro-reform journalist

TEHRAN, Oct 23 (AFP) - Iran's appeals court has cut the five-and-a-half-year jail term of pro-reform journalist Emadeddin Baghi to three years, Culture Minister Ataollah Mohajerani told AFP on Monday. The appeals court has found him innocent of insulting the judiciary, the country's powerful Guardian Council, Iran's state television, as well as a number of officials >>> FULL TEXT

October 22

Judiciary confirms that dissident cleric charged with apostasy

TEHRAN, Oct 22 (AFP) - Iran's judiciary confirmed Sunday that jailed dissident cleric Hassan Yusefi Eshkevari has been formally accused of apostasy, a charge that could carry the death penalty. The state IRNA news agency cited a prosecutor from the conservative Special Court for Clergy (SCC) saying that Eshkevari had also been charged with hostility to God, corruption on Earth, and other serious offences >>> FULL TEXT

MP appears in court over new pro-reform newspaper

TEHRAN, Oct 22 (AFP) - An Iranian MP appeared in court Sunday after an inquiry was launched into his new pro-reform newspaper which hit the news-stands only two weeks ago, the official IRNA news agency said. Qolamheydar Ibrahimbai-Salami, director of the Hambastigi daily, said no formal complaint had been filed but that he had been questioned about the paper, IRNA reported >>> FULL TEXT

October 19

Montazeri defends reformist cleric

TEHRAN, Oct 19 (AFP) - Ayatollah Ali Montazeri, one-time designated successor to the founder of Islamic Iran, defended Thursday an ailing reformist cleric accused of blasphemy and possibly facing the death sentence. In a fax to the wife of Hassan Yussefi-Eshkevari, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, Montazeri, who has lived under guard in Qom, south of Tehran, since 1989, said he was "very sorry about the unfounded accusations." >>> FULL TEXT

German politicians, scientists slam Iranian cleric's trial

BERLIN, Oct 19 (AFP) - German political, religious and scientific community leaders have joined in condemning a closed-door trial in Iran of a pro-reform cleric, Hassan Yussefi-Eshkevari, a German political foundation said here Wednesday. Eshkevari reportedly challenged, in a speech in April to a conference in Germany on the future of reforms in Iran, whether Islamic law requires women to keep their heads and bodies covered >>> FULL TEXT

October 18

Culture Ministry bans six weekly tabloids

TEHRAN, Oct 18 (AFP) - Iran's culture ministry has slapped a temporary ban on six weekly tabloids for repeatedly ignoring its directives, a newspaper said Wednesday. The Abrar paper said their cases had been referred to Tehran's conservative press court for a full investigation but did not specify what the violations had been >>> FULL TEXT

Human rights progress marred by attack on press freedom: UN

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 18 (AFP) - Progress on human rights in Iranthis year has been overshadowed, notably by attacks on press freedom anda high number of executions, according to a UN report released onTuesday. "The most dramatic and far-reaching event" of the period January 1 toAugust 15 was "the accelerating attack on the freedom of the press, whichled to the virtual closing down of the entire reformist press," it said >>> FULL TEXT

Reformists issue joint defence of Eshkevari

TEHRAN, Oct 18 (AFP) - Pro-reform Iranian parties have issued a jointstatement in defence of an outspoken dissident cleric who could be facingthe death sentence at his closed-door trial, press reports said Wednesday. A coalition of supporters of President Mohammad Khatami denounced thecase against ailing cleric Hassan Yusefi-Eshkevari, whose trial by theconservative Special Court for Clergy (SCC) ended Saturday >>> FULL TEXT

October 16

Pro-reform parliament mulling private TV networks

TEHRAN, Oct 16 (AFP) - Iran's pro-reform parliament is studying a constitutional amendment that would permit the nation's first-ever private television networks, an MP told the official IRNA news agency Monday. Valiollah Shojapourian, deputy head of parliament's culture committee, said lawmakers were looking at ways to create channels that would be owned "by non-governmental entities and not by the people." >>> FULL TEXT

October 15

New business paper hits newsstands

TEHRAN, Oct 15 (AFP) - A new pro-free trade business newspaper hit Tehran's newsstands on Saturday, the third press launch in Iran in a little more than a month. The Tejarat-e Azad (Free Trade) paper will be published twice a week but its directory board said it hopes to become a daily publication as soon as possible to help "take a positive step" to boost the free-trade movement >>> FULL TEXT

October 13

NITV signal to Iran blocked - company

LOS ANGELES, Oct 13 (AFP) - The signal into Iran of a US-based Iranian television station has been blocked from that country, the French satellite transmission company broadcasting the signal says. A "rogue carrier" from Iran interrupted the signal of Los Angeles-based National Iranian TV three times since October 1, and the station's transmission has been halted since last Sunday, GlobeCast said in a statement Thursday >>> FULL TEXT

October 11

Ganji shares international Press Freedom Award

October 11, 2000, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), Toronto - A journalist who was kidnapped in Colombia and another who is in jail in Iran will share the honours at this year's international Press Freedom Awards dinner in Toronto next month. The awards by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) recognize journalists who demonstrate a commitment to freedom of expression and who overcome enormous odds simply to produce the news >>> FULL TEXT

Eshkevari found guilty of apostasy, war against Islam

TEHRAN, Oct 16 (AFP) - A closed-door trial has found an ailing pro-reform Iranian cleric guilty of a battery of serious charges including apostasy and waging war against Islam, the official IRNA news agency said Monday. Hassan Yusefi-Eshkevari could now be facing the death sentence after the conservative Special Court for Clergy (SCC) found him guilty on several counts after an in-camera trial condemned by human rights groups >>> FULL TEXT

October 10

TV signal to Iran not blocked, US-based company says

LOS ANGELES, Oct 10 (AFP) - The signal into Iran of a US-based Iranian television station is not being blocked, contrary to the station's statements, the carrier said Monday. Eutelsat, one of Europe's leading satellite operators, said the signal had been interrupted only for a few minutes for "technical reasons." Last Thursday, Los Angeles-based National Iranian TV said its signal had been blocked since September 30 >>> FULL TEXT

Reformist cleric tried behind closed doors

TEHRAN, Oct 10 (AFP) - Reformist cleric Hassan Yussefi Eshkevari, accused of acting againststate security after taking part in a Berlin seminar considered to be anti-Islamic, has been tried in secret, press reports said Tuesday. The reformist daily Aftab-e-Yazd said the ultra-conservative Special Court for Clergy religious court tried him Saturday but had no information on any verdict >>> FULL TEXT

October 9

Files on political assassinations to be reviewed

TEHRAN, Oct 9 (AFP) - Iran's second-highest ranking judge said Sunday that files on the 1998 assassinations of several leading intellectuals and dissidents would be reviewed because they have "deficiencies," state television reported. "The judges and attorneys attending to this file will once again hand it over to representatives of the executive and judicial bodies due to existing deficiencies," Hadi Marvi said, as cited by Iranian television >>> FULL TEXT

October 7

New reformist daily hits Iran's newsstands

TEHRAN, Oct 7 (AFP) - A new reformist daily close to Iran's moderate President Mohammad Khatami hit the country's newsstands Saturday, the second newspaper launch in a month since a crackdown on the pro-reform press. The Hambastigi (Solidarity) paper, founded by MP Qolamheydar Ibrahimbai-Salami, said in its inaugural editorial it was for "reflecting the people's voice and defending the people's rights." >>> FULL TEXT

October 5

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 >>> FULL TEXT

October 4

Rogue carrier blocks U.S.-based National Iranian TV transmission

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- GlobeCast, a French-based satellite transmission company, confirmed today in a letter to U.S.-based National Iranian TV (NITV) that a rogue carrier, originating from Iran or a country close to Iran, has blocked its transmission all over Europe and the Middle East >>> FULL TEXT

October 3

Jailed journalists complain of prison condition

TEHRAN, Oct 3 (Hayat-e No) - Detained reformist journalists Mashallah Shamsolvaezin and Emadedin Baghi have written a letter to the majlis and the judiciary complaining about the treatment of prisoners >>> FULL TEXT

October 2

Daily paper banned for picture of nude man

TEHRAN, Oct 1 (AFP) - A conservative Iranian daily newspaper aimed at children and young adults was suspended by the press court for publishing a picture of a naked man, press reports said on Sunday. Gonbade-Kaboud was ordered closed for publishing the picture of the man in its last edition on Saturday, the Tehran Times reported, adding that managing director Mohammad Safizadeh would soon face trial over the photo >>> FULL TEXT

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