Khatami orders closure of newspaper for mentioning massacre of political prisoners

The clerical regime's newspapers reported that the Tehran-based daily, Arya, "has been ordered to cease publication on the personal orders of the President and the speedy intervention of the Minister of Islamic Guidance (Ataollah Mohajerani) after it published an article on the massacre of political prisoners in 1988."

Arya had written on March 4, 2000: "The main way to tackle the issue of (chain political murders) is to go to the past and open the file of the large-scale execution of political prisoners in summer 1988. All those involved in those killings must, as a first step, be removed from office and sent home."

Another Tehran journal, Gozaresh, further elaborated on the issue on April 8: "The article (in Arya) referred to the fatwa issued by His Eminence the Imam (Khomeini) after Operation Mersad (the Mojahedin's large-scale offensive). The Imam ordered the authorities to issue execution sentences in accordance with Sharia for all Mojahedin prisoners and infidels who are still insisting on their opposition to the state and their support for the Mojahedin."

The English-language daily, Iran News, wrote on April 9: "Officials were astonished to see that these prisoners were still insisting on fighting the state and supporting the Mojahedin." The daily added: "The death sentences were issued when President Mohammad Khatami was the deputy chief of staff of the Armed Forces for ideological and cultural issues. He used to implement Imam Khomeini's verdicts in the most serious manner."

Khatami's personal orders to shut down a newspaper for a mere mention of the massacre of political prisoners show once again that he, like other ruling mullahs, is frightened of the exposure of the clerical regime's crimes even in the most limited manner, for Khatami, as one of the highest ranking officials of the regime, has been involved in all the crimes of the past twenty years.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
April 10, 2000

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