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Shamsolvaezin taken to Evin Prison
Reformist Iranian editor arrested by hardline court
Iranian leader: Those who question Islamic death penalty should die 

Shamsolvaezin taken to evin prison

TEHRAN, Iran, November 2, 1999 (IRNA) Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, editor in chief of the banned daily neshat, was tried at the branch 1410 of the tehran public court and committed to evin prison on tuesday.

Shamsolvaezin was informed of the already registered and new charges leveled against him. the new allegations against him include forgery and illegal use of forged documents and counterfeiting hussein baqerzadeh's signature.

Relying on the reports prepared by official experts of the justice administration, clearance department and criminal investigation department, the court judge saeed mortazavi declared that shamsolvaezin had used counterfeited documents.

The previous charge against neshat's editor in chief was, according to the article 26 of the press law, allowing the publication of articles of hussein baqerzadeh and emadeddin baqi in neshat.

Reminding that the said articles were at variance with the islamic decrees, sanctities and the explicit wordings of the holy quran - all of them deemed as serious offenses by the jury -- the court head re-notified the accused of the allegations.

As the defendant failed to present logical and admissible arguments in his defense during the court hearing, the judge issued a ruling allowing the release of the accused on a 500-million-rial bail.

However, shamsolvaezin failed to post the bail in cash or in form of a property document and consequently was sent to evin prison.

Wwith the conclusion of the legal proceedings initial stage, the court head set november 9 as the date for continuation of the proceedings, expected to be conducted publicly.

Shamsolvaezin is currently the editor in chief of the daily asr-e azadegan.


Reformist Iranian editor arrested by hardline court

TEHRAN, Iran, November 2, 1999 (Reuters) - A leading reformist Iranian editor was arrested on Tuesday on charges of insulting Islamic values, newspaper sources said.

Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, editor-in-chief of the reformist Asr-e Azadegan daily, was arrested by four plainclothes security policemen at his offices, his colleagues told Reuters.

Iran's hardline press court issued a warrant for Shamsolvaezin's arrest last month after his previous newspaper, Neshat, was banned. Until Tuesday no attempt had been made to detain him.

The charges against the editor stem from articles in Neshat which criticised the Islamic law of retribution and capital punishment. Neshat's publisher Latif Sari is appealing against a sentence of two-and-a-half years imprisonment already imposed on him in the case.

Over the past two years Shamsolvaezin has been editor-in- chief of the outspoken Jameah, Tous and Neshat dailies, which have all been closed down by Iran's conservative-dominated judiciary.

In an open letter to President Mohammad Khatami last month, he appealed for protection from mounting pressure from hardliners.

``Either tell us that our press activities are illegal... or tell us clearly from which government body we are to get the minimum of political and professional security to continue our work,'' he said in the letter, written jointly with fellow editor Hamid-Reza Jalaeipour.

A similar plea was made to Iran's new judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi.

The move against the editor was the latest blow to the reformist movement backing Khatami against his hardline rivals.

Iran's courts have closed several pro-reform periodicals and banned some of their publishers from press activities. Many editors remain in jail awaiting trial.

Another leading reformist, Abdollah Nouri, facing charges of political and religious dissent, is on trial in Iran's Special Court for Clergy.

A conviction, widely expected, would probably bar him from February's parliamentary polls and force the closure of his popular newspaper Khordad.


Iranian leader: Those who question Islamic death penalty should die  

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Iran's supreme leader said Wednesday that
anyone who questioned the Islamic rationale for the death penalty deserved to be executed,
Tehran radio reported.
 
His remark came a week after a reformist newspaper called for capital punishment to be abolished in Iran.

Speaking to some 50,000 members of a paramilitary volunteer militia known as the  Basij, Khomeinei upheld the dictum of Qisas, the Islamic principle of punishment. A person  who kills another is subject to capital punishment under Iran's Islamic laws, which also stipulate execution for apostasy.

"If anyone denies religious stipulations such as Islamic Qisas, this person is an apostate and the punishment for such a person is clear," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in the holy city of Mashhad, northeastern Iran.

His comments were quoted by Tehran radio, monitored in Dubai.

Last week the outspoken newspaper Neshat published an article calling for the abolition of capital punishment. The article, written by a reader who identified himself as Hossein Bagherzadeh, did not directly mention Qisas, but said that capital punishment was "the most prominent type of governmental violence."