Iranian paper banned for showing Clooney wearing “Je suis Charlie” pin

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Iran Newspaper Shut on George Clooney ‘I Am Charlie’ Headline.

Iranian authorities have shut down a newspaper and suspended its licence after it published a front page depicting George Clooney at the Golden Globes alongside the headline “I am Charlie, too”.

Iran’s government shut down the Mardom-e Emrooz newspaper after editors published a quote from Hollywood’s George Clooney saying, “I am Charlie,” a reference to the terrorist attacks in Paris on the satirical newspaper.But some conservatives in Iran took offence when a daily newspaper published a photo of George Clooney wearing a ‘Je suis Charlie’ (I am Charlie) badge. A media court in Tehran ordered the reformist daily Mardom-e-Emrooz, which was in its first month of publication, to be closed down at the weekend because it had shown solidarity with the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo following the deadly shootings at its offices.

The country’s public prosecutor ordered the newspaper to close for supporting “offensive media” after the Jan. 13 reference to Charlie Hebdo’s cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad, Tasnim reported, citing the publication’s editor Mohammad Ghoochani. Iran’s government condemned the attack on the Charlie Hebdo’s offices and also the magazine itself, saying that publishing caricatures of Muhammed was “provocative” and an insult to Islam.

Iran’s press watchdog, which operates under the country’s culture ministry and Islamic guidance, also suspended the newspaper’s licence on Monday, confirming its closure was due to the publication of the headline as well as Clooney’s picture showing him wearing a “Je Suis Charlie” badge, according to the state news agency Irna. He declined to comment on the closing when reached by telephone in Tehran, saying that it wasn’t an appropriate time for him to speak about the matter. Iranian officials have said the cartoon on the cover of Charlie Hebdo is insulting to Muslims, while denouncing the assault on the magazine’s office in Paris that killed 12 people. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif, speaking before meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry on his country’s nuclear program in Geneva on Jan. 14, called for a period of calm reflection at a “dangerous” moment.

One statement read: “To hell, to a miserable destiny, French journalists.” “Afghanistan has suffered many years of war and violence, more than any other country, and it is necessary to understand and promote peaceful coexistence among all the people of the world.” Mardom-e-Emrooz’s closure came after a number of conservative media outlets in Iran, including the daily paper Kayhan, demanded it be shut down and MPs threatened to impeach the culture minister if no action was taken. “If the culture minister does not firmly confront this newspaper, then he would be the subject of an impeachment,” MP Zohreh Tayebzadeh told the semi-official Fars news agency. Mardom-e Emrouz, which in Farsi means Today’s People, published on its front page a picture of Clooney and above it the headline: “Clooney: I am Charlie”. The New York-based International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said: “Demands for closure of Mardom-e-Emrooz gained momentum when Iranian state television joined Kayhan and other conservative publications and ran several news segments condemning Mardom-e-Emrooz.” “The closure also points to a wider problem: Rouhani’s failure to expand freedom of the press in Iran more generally.

The move reveals enormous divisions within Iran’s political landscape,” it said. “The battle over free expression has just begun in Iran, with Rouhani and his administration pitted against hardliners, who are deeply entrenched in both parliament and the judiciary. The image has angered many Muslims as depictions of Mohammed are widely considered forbidden in Islam, and triggered protests Friday in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, some of which turned deadly. Demonstrators attending a banned political rally unconnected to the Charlie Hebdo controversy also clashed with police in the capital Niamey overnight.

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