Iran Human RightsMedia watchdog says Iran must stop hounding journalists

Media watchdog says Iran must stop hounding journalists

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Iran Focus: London, Jan. 31 – A prominent press freedoms organisation condemned on Wednesday a decision by Iranian authorities to suspend a feminist monthly for “publishing information detrimental to society’s psychological tranquillity.” Iran Focus

London, Jan. 31 – A prominent press freedoms organisation condemned on Wednesday a decision by Iranian authorities to suspend a feminist monthly for “publishing information detrimental to society’s psychological tranquillity.”

Iran’s Commission for Press Authorisation and Surveillance on 28 January suspended the feminist publication Zanan (or “Women”).

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) also highlighted the case of Jila Bani Yaghoub of the daily Sarmayeh who received a summons on 23 January from a Tehran revolutionary court in connection with a case for which she was arrested in March 2007.

“The Commission for Press Authorisation and Surveillance is the judiciary’s right arm in its crusade against news media that stray from the official line. It has been responsible for the suspension of many publications which the courts subsequently close down for good, often imprisoning their journalists. In Iran, the right to information is still seen as a threat to national security”, RSF said in a statement.

“Dozens of news media have been suspended by the commission since Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became president. Deputy state prosecutor Nasser Saraji told the official news agency ISNA in October that the commission had suspended 42 publications and cancelled 24 licences since 2005. Other newspapers have been temporarily or provisionally suspended by the courts”, the statement added.

The commission is overseen by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.

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