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Iran reformist editor freed on bail

AFP, Thursday 30 Dec 2010
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Iran has released on bail one of three editors of the leading reformist newspaper Shargh who had been arrested earlier this month, opposition website Kaleme.com reported Thursday.

Chief editor Ahmad Gholami, who was detained on December 7 along with two other editors and a financial backer of the daily, was released after posting a bail of nearly 10,000 dollars, Kaleme reported.

On December 12, Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said they all faced "security related crimes."

Kaleme, which belongs to opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, said the release came after more than 150 prominent Iranian writers and journalists wrote a letter to judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani calling for such a move.

The newspaper's financial sponsor, Ali Khodabakhsh, was released on bail of about 10,000 dollars, opposition website Rahesabz.net reported.

Shargh, the flagship of Iran's reformist press, has survived several closures since hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became president in 2005.

The authorities have come down hard on the media and arrested scores of journalists since anti-government protests erupted after Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election in June 2009.
Many have since been sentenced to lengthy jail terms.

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