Iran News ...


8/9/03

Court in Iran's city of Qazvin suspends provincial weekly for second time

A press court in the northwestern Iranian city of Qazvin has closed down a provincial weekly for the second time on charges of 'promoting depravity and publishing lies', the court's head said Saturday, IRNA reported.

Fereydoun Parvinian told IRNA that the court had banned Nameh-ye Qazvin (Letter of Qazvin) from printing until further notice.

The first court hearing at the presence of press jury will be held soon to probe into the weekly's offenses, he added.

The weekly's head, Ali Shahrouzi, said that Nameh-ye Qazvin had been closed down for the second time only after publishing its second issue since the first ban.

He hoped that 'the court will take steps to lift the suspension'.

A senior official of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance criticized the closure, while acknowledging that the publication had breached the law in some way.

"The fact that a certain publication is closed down on the brink of 'Journalists Day' after printing only its second issue ... is not very favorable," Mohammad Hossein Pilevari said.

The official said that his office's talks with the Justice Department and the press court to retract the ruling had led to no breakthrough.

The press court lifted the temporary ban on Nameh-ye Qazvin in January after suspending it on charges of promoting 'depravity' and discrediting clerics.

The weekly had been slapped with paying three-million-rial (375 US dollars) in cash fine. It had remained closed since last August after the Justice Department of Qazvin province found it with printing 'insulting materials and inciting public opinion'.

Shahrouzi had also been accused of 'encouraging the youth to Western depravity in its articles which contradict moral decency' as well as 'spreading lies and distorting historical facts, spoiling reputation of the country's political and religious figures and undermining state organizations'.

In January, the press court closed down another weekly Taban-e Qazvin on libel charges and lifted the ban shortly afterwards.

... Payvand News - 8/9/03 ... --



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