October 6, 2009

Government Closes Three Newspapers in Iran Without Explanation

AFP reports, based on Islamic Republic News Agency information released Tuesday, that the Iranian Labor News Agency has closed Farhang Ashdi (Culture of Reconciliation) and Arman (Ideals), and ordered the closure of Tahlil Rooz (Day’s Analysis). The newspapers were shut down without explanation by the government-run press supervisory body.

“We started publishing the newspaper three months ago and then we received the commission’s decision by fax,” Emami Nasiri, director of Farhang Ashdi, was quoted as saying by ILNA. He did not say when the order was issued.
Bahman Hagatnian, the head of Tahlil Rooz, also said that his paper, published in the southern city of Shiraz, was closed by the commission “without any reason,” IRNA reported.
Since 2005, under the administration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iranian newspapers, websites and news agencies of all political persuasions have been hit by a string of closures.
The media came under a severe crackdown after Ahmadinejad’s re-election on June 12 when scores of reformist journalists were detained for their alleged role in triggering the post-vote unrest in Tehran.
Several of the journalists are still detained in prisons.

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