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Reformist student newspaper closed

(RSF/IFEX) - In a letter to head of the magistracy, Ayatollah Sharoudi, RSF protested the permanent closure of the student magazine "Nazar", which is connected to the reformists. "Yet again, the student movement, and particularly university publications, are target of the conservatives," stated Robert Ménard, the organisation's secretary-general. "We ask that you cancel this decision," he added.

According to information gathered by RSF, on 22 December 2001, authorities from the University of Ferdossi, in Machad (northeastern Iran), ordered the permanent closure of the student magazine "Nazar", which is close to the reform movement and edited by Javad Seifi Abdolabad. The reasons for the closure are still unknown. According to the magazine, Abdolabad's "case" has been handed over to the university's disciplinary committee. Since the beginning of 2001, four students from the student magazine "Kavir" have been arrested. They are: Reza Nadimi, Mehdi Amini, Hamid Jafari-Nasrabadi and Mahmud Mojdayi. The student magazine "Kavir" has also been suspended (see IFEX alerts of 30 and 14 May 2001).

RSF notes that Iran currently has the sad record of being the largest jail for journalists in the Middle East, with eighteen journalists behind bars. A number of them have still not been tried, despite their having already spent several months in detention. Islamic Republic Guide Ali Khamenei is included on RSF's list of the world's thirty-nine press freedom predators.

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