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June 2000, Week 3
|New Majlis Moves to Bar Police Entry into Universities||June 16|
|Iran Reformists Seek Press Freedoms||June 15|
|Iran-Jew Spy Trial Proceedings End||June 15|
|Terrorism Commission Urges U.S. Make No Further Concessions to Iran||June 15|
New Majlis Moves to Bar Police Entry into Universities
TEHRAN - XINHUA - Mindful of last July's widespread unrest sparked by a police raid on a university dormitory, members of Iran's newly constituted Majlis (parliament) have filed a motion barring any security or military personnel from entering universities. |
On the basis of this motion, armed personnel are not allowed to enter "universities and other entities affiliated to the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology," the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported Wednesday.
Emergency cases would have to be decided on a university chancellor's proposal, agreed upon by the minister of science, research and technology or the health minister, an unnamed parliament member said. He said the motion has been submitted to the parliament for approval. The new parliament, dominated by reformists, started work on May 27.
A raid in July last year of a Tehran University dormitory by police and plainclothes sparked in Tehran and other cities six days of bloody riots, believed to be the worst of its kind since the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic revolution.
The raid came as students protested news restrictions and the closing down of the outspoken Persian-language daily Salam by the conservative authorities. At least two people were reportedly killed and many more injured in the clashes. Iranian reformists have charged the attack was pre-arranged and politically motivated with an aim to crack down on the freedom- seeking movement in the country.
Tehran police chief Farhad Nazari, later sacked, was eventually held responsible for the incident. His trial along with co-defendants commenced in a Tehran military court on February 18 and ended on May 27 after 15 sessions. A final verdict on the case is due soon.
Iran Reformists Seek Press Freedoms
By Ali Akbar Dareini|
Associated Press Writer
TEHRAN, Iran - In a bid to fulfill the promises that helped them win parliamentary elections, more than 100 reformist lawmakers have drafted a bill calling for lifting restrictions on media imposed by their predecessors, a lawmaker said Monday.
"Press freedom is the first priority of the new Majlis (parliament)," Rajabali Mazrouie, a journalist and leading reformist lawmaker, told The Associated Press.
No date has been set for introducing the bill. It would be the first legislative sign of change by the reformists, who swept the Feb. 18 elections to oust hard-liners from parliament after 20 years of control.
Reformist allies of President Mohammad Khatami won 194 seats out of the 271 declared so far in the 290-seat house. Hard-liners won 57 seats.
Despite their majority, the reformists will not have it easy in parliament: all bills passed must be approved by the Guardian Council, a hard-line watchdog. The final authority in Iran is Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is known to favor the hard-liners.
Mazrouie, who heads the Journalists Guild Association, said the press bill seeks to prohibit the Special Clergy Court and the Revolutionary Court from taking any action against journalists.
It also would prohibit the arbitrary closure of a newspaper without judicial process, and would ban trying journalists without a jury, he said.
Another reformist lawmaker said the new parliament also would move to lift supervision on cultural products.
"As an elected legislator, I'll support bills that call for easing social and cultural restrictions and lifting censorship. There should be no supervision over books and materials before they are printed," Behrouz Afkhami said.
Afkhami, who is a movie director, also supported lifting a ban on satellite dish antennas that receive foreign television broadcasts, saying it was "against the dignity of the system to approve a law banning satellite dishes."
On Saturday, moderate Culture Minister Ataollah Mohajerani said that the government had drawn up a bill to be presented to parliament calling for lifting supervision of the contents of books prior to printing.
Many of the laws that have been in place since the 1979 Islamic revolution are unpopular for restricting personal freedoms. The reformist victory in parliament raised hopes that such laws will be eased.
Since his 1997 election, Khatami has eased many social, political and cultural restrictions that the clerical establishment seeks to maintain.
Iran-Jew Spy Trial Proceedings End
The Associated Press|
TEHRAN, Iran - Courtroom proceedings in the trial of 13 Iranian Jews accused of spying for Israel have ended and the defense has completed its work, a senior judicial official said Wednesday.
"There will be no more court hearings," Hossein Ali Amiri, the judiciary chief of Fars province, where the Jews are being tried, said on Iranian radio.
The court was awaiting responses to two inquiries, he said, without specifying the nature of the inquiries or to whom they were presented.
"Once we get a response, the case will be closed and the court will issue a verdict within a week," Amiri said.
Eight of the 13 Jewish defendants have pleaded guilty, four have pleaded innocent and one has said he passed information to Israel, but did not think his action constituted espionage. Israel has denied any of the 13 was a spy.
Israel, the United States and several European countries have expressed concern about the case. Attention has focused on the fairness of a trial closed to the public with no jury and the judge acting as prosecutor.
Eight Muslims also are on trial in the same case, including two who have been detained for passing secret information to the Jews.
Terrorism Commission Urges U.S. Make No Further Concessions to Iran
(Capitol Hill-AP) -- The chairman of the National Commission on Terrorism is urging the U-S to make no further concessions to Iran. |
Paul Bremer has told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that such overtures may be misinterpreted as a weakening of U-S resolve. He acknowledges there are potentially encouraging signs in Iran that a more reform-minded government is coming to power.
Still, he warns elements within Iran continue to support terrorism and groups that are violently opposed to peace in the Middle East. The committee chairman says the commission's report that was released earlier this month suggests the Clinton administration is pulling its punches in the fight against terrorism. Senator Jesse Helms adds the U-S appears to be appeasing terrorist states.