Iran's state-run paper protests detention of staff

AP News
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Posted: Nov 22, 2011 2:41 AM
Iran's state-run paper protests detention of staff

An Iranian state-run newspaper has denounced the detention of its chief editor and 39 other staffers amid a scandal surrounding President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's press adviser.

The daily IRAN Farsi appeared in print on Tuesday with half of its front page blank. The paper says it's a protest over the detentions Monday of chief editor Mossayeb Naeimi and other staffers. It says the detentions "hamper" the paper's work.

The detentions appear linked to a power struggle between Ahmadinejad and his opponents ahead of March parliamentary elections and specifically, to a scandal over the president's press adviser, Ali Akbar Javanfekr.

Javanfekr, who also runs IRAN Farsi, has been sentenced to one year in prison and banned from journalism for three years for publishing material "contrary to Islamic norms."