Editor, news agency: Iran government bans 2 pro-reform newspapers

Monday, March 1, 2010

Iran bans 2 pro-reform newspapers

TEHRAN — The Iranian government has closed down two pro-reform newspapers, the publication’s editors said Monday, continuing a crackdown on opponents of the regime and their media outlets.

Editor Behrouz Behzadi of the Etemaad daily told The Associated Press that his newspaper was banned by the Press Supervisory Board. The order cites article six of the press law without elaborating. That article allows newspapers to be closed for offenses from security violations to insulting articles.

Also, the managing editor of Irandokht weekly, Hossein Karroubi, told the AP that authorities revoked license of the weekly journal on Monday.

Karroubi said according to a letter by the same board, his mother Fatemeh Karroubi, the owner of the weekly, lost her permission to operate the weekly since she is not committed to the country’s constitution.

In February, Iranian authorities detained one of the editors of the weekly, Akbar Montajaqbi, without explanation.

Journalists have complained that the Tehran regime has been closing down publications sympathetic to the opposition since Iran’s contentious election last June.

Iran’s hard-line judiciary has shut down more than 120 pro-reform newspapers and jailed dozens of editors and writers on charges of insulting authorities since 2000.

Last month Fatemeh Karroubi, wife of one of the pro-reform presidential candidates in the June voting, called on Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to stop the crackdown on the opposition activists.

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