Iran - Website editor arrested in crackdown on Internet two weeks before parliamentary elections

    MONTREAL, Feb. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders condemns the
arrest of Hassan Nobakhtian, the editor of the conservative website Nosazi,
who was put in Evin prison on the orders of Tehran prosecutor-general Said
Mortazavi yesterday, 11 days after Mortazavi banned his website.
    "This arrest was arbitrary and irregular," the press freedom organisation
said. "No complaint had been brought against Nobakhtian. The authorities are
cracking down harder on the Internet in the run-up to the 14 March
parliamentary elections but, paradoxically, it is not always the sites that
are most critical of the government that are banned."
    Reporters Without Borders added: "Conservative websites that support
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad usually enjoy a degree of immunity, and the
blocking of Nosazi is indicative of the level of tension between the different
conservative factions as the elections get nearer."
    Nosazi was critical of the reformist policies and mocked comments made
about the parliamentary elections by the young mullah Hassan Khomeini, the
grandson of the late Supreme Guide, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
( As well as Nosazi, four
other websites were blocked including a site edited by Fatemeh Rajabi, the
wife of the government spokesman. The authorities said they were "poisoning
the electoral environment."

For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, secretary general,
Reporters Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4208, Fax: (514)

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