Iran General NewsIran lifts ban on reformist weekly - report

Iran lifts ban on reformist weekly – report

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Reuters: An Iranian court Tuesday lifted a ban on a leading reformist weekly, a semi-official news agency said, while keeping at least a dozen more off the streets in a crackdown dating to the disputed 2009 presidential election.

TEHRAN (Reuters) – An Iranian court Tuesday lifted a ban on a leading reformist weekly, a semi-official news agency said, while keeping at least a dozen more off the streets in a crackdown dating to the disputed 2009 presidential election.

The Chelcheragh weekly had been closed in November by the Press Supervisory Board, run by the Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry, for publishing articles the Board said offended public morals. Prior to its closure, Chelcheragh had received two warning from the authorities.

“After Chelcheragh’s managing director gave some explanations to the board about one of its articles … judiciary officials lifted the ban,” Mehr news agency reported, adding the weekly would return to newsstands Saturday.

Published on Saturdays, the weekly has been popular among the young for its articles on culture, art, cartoons, satire and sports.

Since its June 2009 presidential election, Iran has shuttered at least a dozen publications in what reformists say is an attempt by the hardline establishment to silence critics of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The opposition says the election, which plunged Iran into its most serious domestic turmoil in three decades, was rigged to bring back Ahmadinejad. The authorities deny this, saying the vote was the “healthiest” since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Thousands of people, including senior reformers, were detained after the vote 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.

(Writing by Zahra Hosseinian, editing by Mark Heinrich)

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