Reporters Without Borders has protested against the expulsion of Dan DeLuce, correspondent in Tehran for the British daily The Guardian.
"This decision infringes press freedom and shows once again that the Iranian authorities cannot tolerate criticism," said secretary-general Robert Ménard.
DeLuce upset the authorities by reporting without permission from Bam, in the south-east of the country, where an earthquake on 26 January this year left 26,000 people dead.
The journalist went there a first time, covering a visit in February by Prince Charles, but when he applied to go back, the Iranian authorities refused him permission. DeLuce went anyway to assist an Iranian relief organisation.
The newspaper's management said he had not intended to write another article but changed his mind after he arrived. His report referred to criticism among local people of the government's reconstruction policy.
Iran, with more than 12 incarcerated, is the Middle East's biggest prison for journalists.
... Payvand News - 5/21/04 ... --