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Kurdish weekly banned in Iran

BBC Monitoring

Text of report by Iranian conservative news agency Mehr

Tehran, 2 December: Ashti weekly considered, as the first Kurdish-Persian publication, has been permanently banned by the verdict of Branch 1 of the Penal Court of Sanandaj.

In an interview with the Kurdish department of PNA [abbreviation in English, as published], Bahram Valad-Beygi the editor in chief of this weekly, added: Ashti was banned and closed down permanently. After the four hearing sessions relating to this weekly, attended by Saleh Nikbakht as the lawyer, Branch 1 of the Penal Court of Sanandaj issued this verdict.

Borhan Lahoni, the licence holder, and Bahram Valad-Beygi the editor in chief of this publication were each sentenced to pay one million tomans [around 1,000 dollars] fine.

The hearing session of Ashti weekly was held in the presence of Mohammad Saleh Nikbakht and Ahmad Sa'id Sheykh (lawyers) and the editorial staff of this weekly in Sanandaj.

The weekly was banned on a temporary basis on 14 Mordad 1384 [5 August ! 2005] and after 27 months was banned permanently by the verdict of the court. Ashti weekly was published in Tehran in Kurdish and Persian, and was distributed in Kurdish regions. Forty five issues were published by the weekly.

Source: Mehr news agency, Tehran, in Persian 1015 gmt 2 Dec 07



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