Accessibility links

Breaking News

Iranian Reformist Daily Reportedly Banned Again

An Iranian woman reads "Sharq" in Tehran (file photo) (AFP) August 6, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Iranian authorities have reportedly ordered their second ban in less than a year on the leading reformist daily "Sharq," Radio Farda reported.

No official reason has been given for the closure, but a judiciary spokesman, Nasser Saraj, told the Mehr news agency that the main charges against "Sharq" will soon be made public. He added that 20 other newspapers and magazines are under evaluation, but gave no further details.

Staff members at "Sharq" say the paper was banned because it published an interview with female expatriate poet Saqi Qahreman.

The hard-line daily "Kayhan" today described Qahreman as the head of an "Iranian homosexual organization" and a "counterrevolutionary fugitive."

Qahreman told Radio Farda today that the interview focused on language in literature and on the difference between male and female languages.

"I believe, and I said so during the interview, that our problem is not the substitution of female language with male language," she said. "Generally, gender separation has to stop, and language itself has to determine its gender. This was said during the same interview, that it doesn't benefit male or female language. Generally, abolishing gender separation benefits human identity."

"Sharq" was banned last year for allegedly insulting religious and political figures and fomenting public discord, but it reopened again in May.

(ISNA, AFP, dpa, Radio Farda)