Iran\'s Journalists\' Guild Lashes Out Against Judiciary for Press Crackdown
Iran's pro-reform journalists' guild has vehemently denounced the arrest of journalists and the conservative-led judiciary's crackdown on the country's press since April.
In an open letter Sunday to judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi Shahroudi, a copy of which was received by AFP, the guild criticized the way in which journalists and writers were being treated, saying the judiciary's arguments for the mass suspensions and the arrest of journalists lacked foundation.
"The arrest of journalists is unjustified and illegal, and they constitute a flagrant violation of the rights of writers and press freedom," the letter said.
"They (the judiciary) must free the journalists and restore their rights," said the guild, which is headed by Rajab Ali Mazrui, a close ally of President Mohammad Khatami.
Iran's conservative-led courts have closed down more than 25 newspapers and journals since April in a sweeping crackdown that shuttered every major pro-reform daily supporting Khatami, and several newspaper chiefs and journalists are in jail awaiting trial -- TEHRAN (AFP)
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