As opposition is preparing for new protests, Iran imposes working ban on journalists

2009/12/06

Published on German public news broadcast “Tagesschau” on December 6, 2009
Source (German): http://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/irandemo100.html

Iran has imposed a three-day work ban for foreign media in Tehran. Correspondents may not leave their offices. This is to prevent reports on possible new protests on the “Student Day” on Monday. The responsible department of the Ministry of Culture via SMS informed journalists, cameramen and photographers who work for the foreign press about the ban.

According to information of inhabitants of Tehran, internet access has also been restricted. Internet is the major means of communication for the opposition. Dissident websites are currently under increased observation by the government, e-mail access in the capital is blocked, it says.

Opposition prepares for new demonstrations
On Monday is the anniversary of the slaying of three students in 1953 under the regime of the Shah. Several internet sites had reported that the opposition has been preparing new demonstrations against the re-election of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be held this weekend. Rallies will be staged around the universities of the country. Police and Revolutionary Guards warned that they will be fiercely confronting any “illegal” demonstration.

Reformist Iranian ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani deplored the current an atmosphere of intolerance in his country. Currently, “constructive criticism” is not accepted, he said during a meeting with students in the city of Mashhad. At the same time, he asked the opposition to act “within the framework of the law” during the protests.

The opposition accuses the Iranian leadership of having rigged the elections. The protests against the re-election of Ahmadinejad in June have plunged Iran into the heaviest domestic crisis since the Islamic Republic was founded 30 years ago. Militias and Revolutionary Guards cracked down on the protests. Dozens of people died, more than 4000 dissidents were arrested. Eight people have been sentenced to death.

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