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Iranian newspaper that reported of rape and torture of detainees banned from newsstands

Iran newspaper
In this photo, taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by the Associated Press outside Iran, Journalists of the leading Iranian pro-reform newspaper Itmad e Milli, or National Confidence, gather in their office, in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Aug. 17, 2009. Iran's prosecutor general ordered the closure Monday of the pro-reform newspaper Itmad e Milli for "publishing articles against national security and public expedience." The paper had run articles on claims by prominent opposition figure Mahdi Karroubi that some detainees were raped in prison. Karroubi heads the political party that runs the newspaper.Photo: Associated Press

Iranian newspaper Itmad e Milli, which is owned by defeated presidential candidate Mahdi Karroubi, was banned from newsstands on Monday, the daily reported on its website. It was not clear how long the ban would be in place.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), government agents prevented copies of the paper from leaving the printing press apparently because of an article by Karroubi in which he responded to claims against him in the pro-government media that he had deliberately disseminated disinformation. Karroubi ignited a massive controversy two weeks ago when he wrote that detainees had been raped and tortured while in custody.

This is not the first time Itmad e Milli has been censored since the controversial June 12 presidential elections. The newspaper was prevented from being issued on July 1, and has been forced on occasion to go to print with blank spaces where censored articles would otherwise have appeared.

"This crude form of censorship confirms the intent of the authorities to silence a prominent political figure who is attempting to publish serious allegations of government mistreatment of detainees," said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Programme Coordinator ‎‎Mohamed Abdel Dayem. "Iran cannot trumpet its democrat credentials and at the same time suppress independent media."

In other news, CPJ confirmed that blogger and women's rights activist Kave Muzzafari, who had been detained since July 9, was released from Evin prison on bail on Monday, according to the Tehran-based Sign for Change Web site. Satyar Emami, a photographer with the state-run newspaper Jam e Jam who was arrested on July 9, was released on bail on Sunday, according to CPJ sources. With those two releases, CPJ research shows that Iran is currently holding at least 36 journalists behind bars.

Date posted: August 19, 2009 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 255