Iran News ...


2/23/04

Iranian official advocating press freedom deplores closure of websites

Shutting down of two Internet sites, Rooydad.com and Emrooz.com has caused debate among the officials challenging the action taken by the Judiciary as illegal, IRNA reported from Tehran.

Minister of Communications and Information Technology Ahmad Motamedi whose ministry is technically in charge of shutting down the sites put the blame on the Judiciary saying that the responsibility lies with the Judiciary.

"We advocate application of the Internet for public service and we seek a methodology not to let the process face a difficulty," Motamedi said.

Deputy Minister of Culture and the Islamic Guidance for Press Affairs Mohammad Sohfi said that the ministry of communications and information technology has not yet reported the closure to the ministry of culture and the Islamic guidance which advocates freedom of expression.

Sohfi said that the closure of an Internet site legally requires a decision to be made by a three-man committee and the press department will follow up the action taken without observing the normal procedure.

Meanwhile, Tehran Prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi defended the action to shut down the two websites and said that a special committee composed of representatives of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), the High Cultural Revolution Council and the information ministry is expected to monitor the websites and take decision to stop them.

Rooydad.com was known as the website of the Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) and the Emrooz.com was lobbying for the political activists close to the Islamic Revolution Mujahedin Organization (IRMO). The two parties have formed a majority in the outgoing parliament supporting the reform programs of President Mohammad Khatami in 1997 and later in the second presidential election in the year 2001.

The landslide victory of President Khatami in the two consecutive presidential elections against the conservative rivals conveyed the national resolve to reform the government system.

... Payvand News - 2/23/04 ... --



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