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Iranian Activist Files Complaint Against Culture Minister

(RFE/RL) PRAGUE, November 1, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Iranian opposition activist Ibrahim Yazdi has launched a formal complaint against Culture Minister Hossein Saffar Harandi for failing to issue a license to publish Yazdi's new book.

Yazdi's lawyer, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, told Radio Farda that the government refusal to publish the book is a violation of citizens' rights under Iranian laws.

Yazdi, a former foreign minister, heads the Iran Freedom Movement, a nationalist religious political party critical of Iran's Islamic establishment.

His lawyer said his new book is a collection of speeches and essays that had been already published in newspapers and magazines.

"It's been about 21 months [since he applied for a permission] but [the Culture Ministry] hasn't published it," he said. "[His speeches and essays] have all been published before. If there was a problem they should have prevented their publications. [Officials] haven't said there was a problem. They haven't even responded."

Prominent journalist Emadeddin Baghi has also complained in an open letter to the culture minister that about six of his books have been banned.

In recent months, publishers and writers in Iran have expressed concern over new censorship guidelines that prevent them from publishing new books.

RFE/RL Iran Report

RFE/RL Iran Report

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