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Iran's Judiciary Chief: Ban on website needs court ruling

Judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi said on Sunday that the Judiciary honors freedom of expression and that any case of banning a website needs a verdict from the court of justice, IRNA reported from Tehran.

Shahroudi said that imposing ban on the website falls within jurisdiction of the court of justice and that the executive body is not authorized to ban their activities.

web site Alef was banned recently after publishing reports questioning the credentials of the Interior Minister

In a letter to Tehran's Prosecutor, Shahroudi instructed him to adopt a procedure to back freedom of expression and inquire into any complaints when an Internet site was accused of carrying an offense.

The decision was made in order to support the principle of freedom of speech and expression based on Iran's Constitution, the ayatollah stressed in the letter.

"As freedom of speech and expression is a constitutional right of all citizens, Iran's judiciary system should be the number one supporter of these freedoms in the society so that no one would be deprived of these legitimate rights," stressed the Judiciary chief.

He said that the judiciary system should "avoid politicizing and supporting a special political fraction."

Ayatollah Shahroudi's order was issued after Ahmad Tavakkoli, a member of Iran's parliament, had earlier sent a letter to the ayatollah protesting against blocking his website known as 'Alef'.

The website was blocked earlier this month by government for alleged publishing false report.

... Payvand News - 08/31/08 ... --

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