Media News - Friday, September 28, 2012
A top aide to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who heads Iran's official IRNA news agency, Ali Akbar Javanfekr, was arrested and jailed on Wednesday, IRNA reported. Authorities also closed Iran's leading moderate newspaper, Shargh, after it published a satirical cartoon seen as insulting war veterans, according to the website of state broadcaster IRIB. Javanfekr was detained as Ahmadinejad was delivering a speech at the annual UN General Assembly in New York, IRNA said. It said Javanfekr was taken to Tehran's Evin prison, apparently to serve a six-month sentence on charges of publishing material offensive to Islamic codes and public morality that were upheld by an appeals court in February this year. His lawyer at the time said the charges stemmed from an article in a state-run magazine under Javanfekr's control that was critical of Iranian women being compelled to wear an Islamic headscarf. Javanfekr also fought separate charges of allegedly insulting Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on his personal website in April 2011. Javanfekr, who runs a state press group that prints several newspapers and magazines, is a media adviser to Ahmadinejad. He has long been targeted by hardline judges and ultra-conservative figures who see him and the president as trying to undermine religious principles they uphold. (AFP)
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