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Iran Cracks Down On Web Journalists, Users

13 October 2004 -- Iranian authorities have arrested at least six Internet journalists and webloggers over the past few days, according to relatives and friends of the detained.

Iran's pro-reform Press Association denounced the arrests. A leading member of the group, Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, said the association protested the arrests and claimed the detainees, Shahram Rafizadeh, Babak Ghafouri-Azar, Rouzbeh Amir-Ebrahimi, Hanif Mazroui, Omid Memarian, and Mostafa Derayati, had been denied legal counsel.

News-based websites and online journals known as weblogs have been gaining popularity in Iran where the state controls the media and access to information.

The hard-line regime has cracked down on print media over the last few years, leaving many pro-reform journalists with few outlets to disseminate their views.