Iran shuts another reformist newspaper

New York, December 8, 2009—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Iranian authorities’ decision on Monday to shut the reformist daily Hayate No. The Press Supervisory Board revoked the license of the Tehran-based daily Hayate No “for working outside the regulations,” according to local news reports, but the agency provided no details of the alleged violations.

Hayate No is considered supportive of defeated presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi. Its closing came the same day that thousands of Mousavi supporters demonstrated on university campuses in Tehran and nationwide.

“It can be no coincidence that on the day student protesters take to the streets, the government muzzles yet another reformist newspaper,” said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney. “Since the disputed presidential election in June, journalists have been censored, harassed and imprisoned. Iran now holds the dubious distinction of being second only to China as a jailer of journalists.”

Six months after the elections, Iranian authorities continue to crack down on opposition and independent media. CPJ has documented a number of cases in which authorities have shut down newspapers, blocked Web sites, and arrested journalists. Twenty-three journalists remain in Iranian prisons, according to CPJ research.