Reuters: Iran has closed down a reformist weekly in the latest crackdown on pro-reform publications more than a year after a disputed presidential election, Iran’s student news agency ISNA reported on Monday.
TEHRAN, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Iran has closed down a reformist weekly in the latest crackdown on pro-reform publications more than a year after a disputed presidential election, Iran’s student news agency ISNA reported on Monday.
“Based on a decision by the press supervisory board Chelcheragh has been banned for publishing articles contradictory to public morals,” ISNA said.
Chelcheragh, popular among young people for its articles on culture, art, satire and cartoons, had previously received two warnings from the authorities, ISNA said.
When asked by Reuters why the weekly had been shut down, an employee of Chelcheragh who did not give his name said: “We are not in a position to speak”.
Chelcheragh’s closure came two months after Iran banned two newspapers for insulting political and religious figures.
Iran has shut down a number of publications since its disputed June 2009 presidential election which plunged the country into its most serious domestic turmoil in three decades.
The opposition says the election was rigged to secure President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election but the authorities deny the charge, saying the vote was the “healthiest” since the country’s 1979 Islamic revolution.
Thousands of people, including senior reformers, were detained after the poll for fomenting unrest. Most of them have since been freed, but more than 80 people have been jailed for up to 15 years and five have been sentenced to death.
Last month, Iranian authorities said they would close down publications that carry news of the opposition movement.
(Editing by Ron Askew)