Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I.R. Iran Closes 3 Newspapers in Latest Press Crackdown

Tweet It!

CBC News

Iran's government-run press supervisory body closed three newspapers on Tuesday without giving reasons, according to local news agencies. ILNA news agency said Farhang Ashdi (Culture of Reconciliation) and Arman (Ideals) were closed, while the official IRNA news agency reported that Tahlil Rooz (Day's Analysis) was also ordered shut. Bahman Hagatnian, the head of Tahlil Rooz, also told IRNA his paper was closed "without any reason," IRNA reported. The media in Iran has come under a severe crackdown after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election on June 12, when dozens of journalists were detained for their alleged role in fomenting unrest in Tehran.

Canadian-Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari, a reporter with Newsweek, has been imprisoned in Iran since his arrest on June 21. On Sunday Bahari, 42, got to make just his second call to his pregnant wife since he was taken into custody. British citizen Paola Gourley is scheduled to deliver by caesarean section on Oct. 26. Newsweek's foreign editor, Nisid Hajari, said his publication has appealed for Bahari's release on humanitarian grounds. "There's a very strong humanitarian reason for him to be released so he can be with his partner when she gives birth," Hajari said in a telephone interview Monday from New York. Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a joint statement in September ,calling the "the safe and rapid return of all detained and missing citizens in Iran to their respective countries so that they might be reunited with their families." Cannon and Clinton have been pressing Iran to provide the detainees full consular access, legal rights, protection, and "a complete and transparent account" of the charges against them.