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Iran: Resistance to release of journalist, Mohammad Ghouchani

Report Source: Radio Zamaneh

Mohammad Ghouchani in court

A major aspect of Iran's crackdown on the post-election protests is the suppression of the press and journalists. Various newspapers have been banned and scores of reporters and news editors were arrested in the past three months and accused of threatening national security. Whilst a number of these detainees have been released on heavy bails, others still remain behind bars.

Mohammad Ghouchani, editor of the banned daily, Etemad-e Melli is still held without bail although the questioning and the investigations in his case terminated 15 days ago, according to his wife, Maryam Baghi. The parliamentary committee in charge of investigating the cases of recent detainees has announced that new charges have been laid against Mr. Ghouchani.

Mr. Ghouchani was arrested along with a number of other journalists following the June elections and despite termination of the investigation, Mr. Ghouchani's release, according to Mrs. Baghi, has met with Saeed Mortazavi's disapproval.

Mr. Mortazavi, former prosecutor of Tehran, was reportedly behind the arrests and trials of the post-election protesters. Mehdi Karroubi, disputing candidate of the elections and head of Etemad-e Melli party, had warned Mr. Mortazavi to stay clear of his witness in the controversial case of sexual assault of detainees in the recent events, insinuating that Mr. Mortazavi was prone to tampering with evidence.

Saeed Mortazavi's judicial dossier also includes the arrest of Zahra Kazemi, the Iranian-Canadian photo-journalist who was killed whilst in custody.

Mr. Ghouchani was presented in one of the controversial mass trials of election protesters which were televised in the past months. Mrs. Baghi insists that her husband has neither participated in any of the post-election gatherings, nor published anything concerning the elections; therefore, the charges against him are invalid.

... Payvand News - 10/08/09 ... --

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