Alex Blaze

Iran bans paper for gay interview

Filed By Alex Blaze | August 06, 2007 4:37 PM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: Iran, Middle East, Rupert Murdoch, Saghi Ghahreman, Shargh

From the ME Times:

Iran Monday shut down a leading moderate daily for the second time in less than a year after the paper published an interview with a woman accused of being a "counter-revolutionary" homosexual.

The ban on Shargh (East), the favorite newspaper of Iranian liberals, comes amid growing pressure on the press in Iran and follows the closure of fellow moderate daily Ham Mihan last month.

"The main reason for the ban was an interview with a counter-revolutionary who promotes immorality," Alireza Malekian, the director of press in the culture ministry, told the state-run IRNA news agency.

The interview was with Iranian ex-pat lesbian poet Saghi Ghahreman who lives in Canada. Representatives of the paper say that the interview stuck mainly to poetry and barely mentioned sexuality.

The paper printed an apology on Monday, but apparently that wasn't enough. It had just come off a 9-month ban for printing an offensive cartoon.

This part of the ME Times article stood out:

The hardline daily Kayhan, known for its repeated attacks on the moderate press, said in its Monday edition that Ghahreman was head "of the Iranian homosexuals organization" and a "counter-revolutionary fugitive."

"Media observers believe that Shargh has interviewed this homosexual while aware of her sick sexual identity, dissident views, and porno-personality," it added.

Does Rupert Murdoch own papers in Iran now? I didn't know!

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