Iran media activists urge new prosecutor to free detained journalists

[JURIST] Media workers and reformists are urging Iran's new prosecutor general Abbas Jafari Dolat-Abadi [PressTV report] to remove bans placed on newspapers and to free journalists who were imprisoned during the term of his predecessor, Saeed Mortazavi [JURIST news archive], according to a letter posted Saturday on the website of leading reform party Mosharekat [party website, in Persian]. The letter was accompanied by more than 300 signatures of support. Mortasavi is believed to have closed down around 120 news publications and has overseen the trials of more than 100 individuals out of more than 4,000 who were arrested during recent political protests [JURIST news archive]. It is not entirely clear how many journalists are currently being held, but a source told Reuters that there may be as many 38 still in custody [Reuters report].

Last week Iranian judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani [profile] removed [JURIST report] Mortazavi from office, for reasons which are still unclear. Larijani, who himself was appointed early last month [JURIST report] amid protests over the disputed re-election [JURIST news archive] of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [official profile; JURIST news archive], chose Dolat-Abadi, a former provincial judiciary head, as Tehran's new prosecutor general.



 

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