AFP: Iran renewed a ban on a moderate daily newspaper on Tuesday less than two months after allowing it to return to news stands, the paper’s director told the ISNA news agency. TEHRAN, July 3, 2007 (AFP) – Iran renewed a ban on a moderate daily newspaper on Tuesday less than two months after allowing it to return to news stands, the paper’s director told the ISNA news agency.
“The (Tehran) prosecutor’s office has sent us an official notice telling us not to publish,” said Gholam Hossein Karbaschi, a former Tehran mayor who also publishes the Ham Mihan (Compatriot) newspaper.
“They told us there were some mistakes in the way our case was handled,” he added.
Tehran prosecutor Said Mortazavi said the paper’s suspension was the result of procedural error’s in the handling of Karbaschi’s trial and incarceration for corruption from 1998 to 2000 after his 10-year tenure as mayor.
He said the ex-mayor had failed to appear in person at his trial as the rules required. He said Karbaschi had also left it to his lawyer to countersign the parole order which saw his release from jail.
“So it was his lawyer who was tried and not him,” Mortazavi told the official IRNA news agency.
Ham Mihan had only returned to news stands on May 13. It had been widely expected to take the place of fellow moderate daily Shargh (East), which was banned last September. But a day after its relaunch, Shargh too was allowed to resume publication.
A centrist technocrat, Karbaschi, is close both to reformist former president Mohammad Khatami and to his more conservative predecessor Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.