In Iran the mass-circulation daily newspaper, the Ayandegan is back in print after production had been suspended for more than a week.
In Iran the mass-circulation daily newspaper, the Ayandegan is back in print after production had been suspended for more than a week. It stopped publication under pressure from Iran's Islamic authorities. Its first issue on Monday (21 May) carried a front-page editorial on press freedom, an issue which has became a rallying point for groups disenchanted with the country's Islamic leadership.
SYNOPSIS: Press freedom was the theme of this demonstration by opposition groups in Teheran at the weekend (19 May). It was organised by the largely leftist National Democratic Front, and fifty thousand supporters attended. The Chief speaker was Dr Sahyegan. He was a minister under former Prime Minister Dr Mossadeq, and has been in exile in the United States for 25 years.
Many of those present supported the February revolution but have since grown disillusioned with the fundamentalist Islamic rule. And they say the closure of two newspapers within a week threatens the return of dictatorship. One newspaper was criticised by the Ayatollah Khomeini, then Islamic mobs attacked its offices and news vendors. At another newspaper militant Islamic print workers locked out 20 leftwing journalists.
Speakers at the rally accused the authorities of strangling the free press, and they called for government policies to prevent censorship. The call for freedom was loudly proclaimed.
They protested against the shutdown of the independent daily Ayandegan, which has now (Monday) resumed publication. Some secular groups fear that censorship could prevent adequate public discussion of the draft Islamic constitution.