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Iran: Publisher Sentenced To Jail

Tehran, 31 July 2000 (RFE/RL) - An Iranian court has sentenced moderate newspaper publisher Mohammad Reza Zohdi to four months in prison and banned him from all press activities. The government daily "Iran" said today that the court also revoked Zohdi's publishing license and ordered him to pay an undisclosed cash fine. Zohdi's daily "Arya" was closed in a wave of press bans imposed in April by the hardline judiciary, citing threats to Iran's Islamic system and revolutionary values.

The court convicted Zohdi earlier this month of libel, spreading lies to incite public opinion, and violating the election law in connection with February parliamentary polls.

Details of his sentence were not made public at the time. Unless acquitted on appeal, Zohdi will join a string of other editors and publishers in Iranian jails.