Iranian Cultural Minister Protests Questioning of Journalists

Published February 18th, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

Iran’s Culture Minister Ahmad Masjed-Jamei protested against the recent police activity to call in journalists and top reformists for questioning, the Hamshahri daily reported on Saturday, according to AFP.  


"These summons threaten national security and are preoccupying cultural circles," he expressed in a letter to Interior and Intelligence Ministers, Abdolvahed Mussavi-Lari and Ali Yunessi respectively, urging them to take "rapid action" for an end to the questionings.  


On Wednesday, Iran's reformists, who dominate parliament criticized the conditions in which journalists and intellectuals had been questioned by police recently.  


"These journalists and intellectuals were summoned, interrogated on their past and political and religious convictions, and even subjected to insulting treatment," stated reformist deputy Ali-Asghar Hadizadeh.  


Hadizadeh, who was addressing parliament, added that two well-known French-language writers close to the liberals, Daryoush Shaygan and Ali Dehbashi, as well as a number of journalists, were "subjected to forced interrogations by the police."  


The Iranian police force, led by Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf, comes under the direct jurisdiction of the supreme guide of the revolution, Ali Khamenei, and is continually accused by the reformists of acting for the conservatives.  


On their part, the powerful conservative-dominated courts have been leading a campaign against the press since April 2000, ordering the suspension of 21 dailies and an estimated 30 reformist periodicals, as well as imprisoning around 15 journalists. ( 

© 2002 Al Bawaba (

© 2000 - 2021 Al Bawaba (

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