Newspapers and other media that repeatedly insult the Islamic Republic will face a permanent ban under new emergency legislation presented to parliament.
The announcement came after the press supervision board of the Ministry of Justice ordered the closure of Mardom-e Emrooz on January 17. Prior to the ban, the newspaper published a photograph of actor George Clooney wearing a “Je suis Charlie” badge in support of those killed in the January 7 attack in Paris.
Hamid Rasaee MP, who sits on the Article 90 committee that drafted the emergency legislation, told Tasnim news agency that journalists could face a lifetime ban for violating the “sanctity” of Iranian society and its values. Newspapers and other media outlets could be permanently closed if they repeatedly ignored guidelines.
Resaee said that there were safeguards to protect the values of the Islamic Republic in other industries, including food manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies. “But in the domain of culture, authorities do not show the same sensitivity and awareness,” he said. If an editor-in-chief insisted on repeatedly publishing offensive material, he or she should “not be allowed to work in the sector.”
Conservative website Raja News responded to the announcement: “The banning of Mardom-e Emrooz is only the first step. We thank the judicial authorities for their quick action. Those running this newspaper should face serious consequences. We must root out this type of media and totally eradicate it.”
Fatemeh Alia, a member of Parliament’s social committee, had previously urged lawmakers to approve bills imposing lifetime bans on media activists.
Read the original article in Persian