Iran releases pro-reform journalist, lawyer from prison
A pro-reform journalist and a lawyer who has defended the embattled reformist press were both released from prison on Tuesday, a defense attorney told AFP.
Journalist Mohammad Qouchani and lawyer Mohammed-Ali Jedari-Forouqi, both jailed last month in separate cases, were freed from Tehran's Evin prison, said Forouqi's lawyer, Nemat Ahmadi.
Qouchani had been placed in temporary detention after a court appearance to answer complaints against him filed by the police, a group of hard-line clerics and others.
He had been sharply critical of the conservative courts in April after they launched a crackdown that saw the closure of every major pro-reform newspaper and journal backing President Mohammed Khatami.
Jedari-Forouqi, who defended a number of pro-Khatami papers once the crackdown began, was jailed on charges of helping the editor of a pro-reform journal spread "false allegations" about the Iranian courts in an interview with US radio network Voice of America.
He was released after promising to return to court, Ahmadi said. It was not immediately clear under what conditions Qouchani was freed.
Several high-profile journalists, politicians and Khatami allies have been imprisoned and others are out but awaiting trial since the courts began their campaign against the press.
The moves came after pro-Khatami reformists won a majority in parliament during February elections, ousting the longstanding right-wing majority in the legislature – TEHRAN (AFP)
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