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Reformist Iranian Journalist Urges Use Of Internet

(RFE/RL) September 22, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- A top Iranian reformist journalist, Isa Saharkhiz, has called on Iran's journalists to use new ways to counter state crackdown on media.

Saharkhiz, a number of whose publications have been closed, told Radio Farda that journalists should use such means as the Internet and satellite TV programs to get their message out.

"In a country where they restrain freedom of expression and don't respect the law, there is no need for us to work in the legal framework they impose on us," Saharkhiz said. "If they don't let us have newspapers and magazines, if they send us to prison under false pretexts and send us to court or to jail then we should use new technologies,"

Saharkhiz's comments follow the closure last week of four publications in Iran, including a leading reformist daily, "Sharq."

Saharkhiz was on August 28 sentenced to four years in jail and barred from working as a journalist for five years for "publishing lies."