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1/12/03 Bookmark and Share
Three editors of banned daily arrested over controversial cartoon

Tehran, Jan 12, IRNA -- Three journalists of the now-banned daily Hayat-e No have been arrested in connection with the publication of a controversial cartoon which is said had insulted the founder of the Islamic Revolution, late Imam Khomeini, an informed source told IRNA here Sunday.

The claim was confirmed by Intelligence (Information) Minister Ali Younessi. The source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, gave the names of those arrested as Alireza Eshraqi, Hamid Qazvini and Ahmadi, whose first name was not given.

The controversy began after Hayat-e No printed Wednesday the 1937 cartoon of former US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, frowning at then chief justice over a dispute between executive and judicial branches of the United States government.

Angry protestors gathered in front of Hayat-e No offices on Friday, arguing that the sulking bald man in the cartoon with thick eyebrows resembled the Islamic Republic's founding father, an allegation which several editors of the paper have rejected.

Earlier Sunday, a group of theology students and clerics, including several people who wore blood-soaked shrouds and carried black flags as a sign of mourning, rallied for the second day in the religious city of Qom.

"We emphatically want all state officials, especially the Judiciary, to take firm action against this seditious cultural move and confront with infiltrators in the press," the protestors said in a resolution.

The Special Court for Clergy in Tehran on Saturday summoned managing editor of the daily, Hadi Khamenei, and ordered the paper to suspend publication.

The cleric, who represents Tehran in the parliament, denied allegations that the caricature intended to insult the founder of the Islamic Revolution as he delivered an emotional speech at the parliament floor.

"Today, some people are denying all the way that I have traveled with pain as well as all the ideals which I volunteered to sacrifice my life for," he said, his voice choked with grief.

Theology students protest for second day over insulting cartoon

Qom, Jan 12, IRNA -- A group of theology students and clerics rallied for the second day in this religious city on Sunday to protest against the publication of a cartoon which they say insulted the founder of the Islamic Revolution, late Imam Khomeini.

Chanting slogans, the protestors, some clad in blood-soaked shrouds and carrying black-colored flags as a sign of mourning, set out from the former house of the late Imam to gather at the Qom theology school where they issued a tough-worded resolution.

"We emphatically want all state officials, especially the Judiciary, to take firm action against this seditious cultural move and confront with infiltrators in the press," the protestors said in a part of the resolution.

The Special Court for Clergy in Tehran on Saturday summoned managing editor of the daily Hayat-e No, Hadi Khamenei, and ordered his paper to suspend publication.

The controversy started after Hayat-e No printed the 1937 cartoon of former US President Franklin D. Roosevelt frowning at then chief justice over a dispute between executive and judicial branches of the United States.

Angry protestors gathered in front of Hayat-e No offices on Friday, arguing that the sulking bald man in the cartoon with thick eyebrows resembled the Islamic Republic's founding father, an allegation which several editors of the paper have rejected.

"We announce our disgust and hatred toward this abominable move and express the explicit concern and dissatisfaction of the Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) and prominent (clerical) sources of emulation as well as all sympathizers of the system over the improper performance of some press," protestors in Qom said in another part of their resolution.

"We declare to hegemonic America that our nation are united against all internal and outside plots and will remain faithful to Imam Khomeini and the beloved leader of the revolution (Ayatollah Khamenei) to dispel all infiltrators and stooges," the resolution added.

Earlier Sunday, Hadi Khamenei, who represents Tehran in the parliament, denied allegations that the caricature intended to insult the founder of the Islamic Revolution.

"The one who sits at the center of this wave is me whose achievements and beliefs during more than four decades are all associated with the name of late Imam Khomeini," Hadi Khamenei, an MP from Tehran, told the open session of the parliament.

Prior to the closure, Hayat-e No tried to calm the rage by announcing its offices closed for two days and voluntarily apologized if the cartoon had provoked any sentiments.

But, that was not enough to prevent several clerics, based in Qom where Iran's Shi'ite theology schools are based, to pour scorn on the "insulting move" of the daily.

On Sunday, the Persian daily Jomhuri-ye Eslami published the "massive protests of the people, Islamic sources of emulation and clerics of theology schools" in Qom, who, the paper said, called for action against the editors of Hayat-e No.

"We are impatiently awaiting the implementation of the Islamic justice so that no one insults the dignity of Imam (Khomeini) and martyrs," the paper quoted Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi Amoli as saying.

"Those who insult religious and revolutionary sanctities in the press must know that the nation as well as theology schools will not tolerate their affronts," Ayatollah Mohammad Fazel Lankarani said, according to Jomhuri-ye Eslami.

Hadi Khamenei delivered an emotional speech at the parliament floor, saying certain people were trying to deny his many years of loyalty to Imam Khomeini as well as his imprisonment and ordeals at the former Shah's prisons.

"Today, some people are denying all the way that I have traveled with pain as well as all the ideals which I volunteered to sacrifice my life for," he said, his voice choked with grief.

Court issues temporary ban on Hayat-e-No daily

Tehran, Jan 11, IRNA -- The Special Court for the Clergy on Saturday issued a temporary ban on Hayat-e-No daily.

The Special Court for the Clergy said that the daily's Managing Editor Hadi Khamenei was summoned to the Court and was informed to stop publication of the daily until further notice.

Hayat-e-No on Wednesday printed a caricature dating back to 1937 of former US president Franklin D. Roosevelt and the then US chief justice engaged in a dispute as example of a row between the executive and judiciary branches.

Religious schools have misinterpreted the caricature and said that the daily meant the late Imam Khomeini by printing the caricature of the US chief justice.

Hayat-e-No apologized for the misinterpretation and voluntarily suspended publication. The daily officials said that there is no resemblance between the US chief of the supreme court and the late Imam Khomeini.

The court said that it would examine the case to determine whether or not a violation has taken place adding that the outcome of the investigations will be made public soon.

Karroubi: Religious, national beliefs should be respected

Tehran, Jan 12, IRNA -- Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi said here on Sunday, that the media should respect the national and religious beliefs of the community and that their freedom should be within the framework of the nation's current laws.

Addressing a press conference, he added that in view of the high sensitivity of the community and serious competition, all media specially the newspapers should be quite careful about bringing up current issues to avoid any confusion.

"The reason I recommend the newspapers to be extra careful, is that they have to fill numerous pages everyday," he noted.

In reply to reporters question on Hayat-e-No temporary ban, he criticized the printed design and added that further survey will bring to light whether it was deliberate or not.

... Payvand News - 1/12/03 ... --



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