Iran: Shargh newspaper boss arrested for prostitution report | News | DW | 28.04.2018
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Iran: Shargh newspaper boss arrested for prostitution report

After his paper reported on alleged prostitution in the holy city of Mashhad, a media boss has been jailed. Masshad is a bastion of arch-conservative support in Iran.

The director of a reformist newspaper in Iran was taken into custody on Saturday after his publication featured an article on alleged prostitution.

The article claimed to expose prostitution at a residential complex in the holy city of Mashhad.

Several people filed legal complaints against the Shargh newspaper for insulting women, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

Read more: Iran's double standard of justice

A judge ordered its director general, Mehdi Rahmanian, be arrested after failing to take action against the reporter.

The daily said on its Instagram account that he had earlier refused a court order to discount the report and punish the journalist responsible.

He will reportedly be required to pay compensation to the plaintiffs.

Read more: Activists at risk - Supporting jailed journalists and bloggers

Highly critical

The paper has been highly critical of Iran's conservative hard-liners over the past 15 years, earning it popularity online. Mashhad is Iran's holiest city and is a center of Iran's anti-reform, arch-conservatives.

Several reform-minded journalists have been arrested in Iran over recent years and several media outlets have been shuttered.

The Center for Human Rights in Iran reported in 2016 the Shargh's editor was arrested ahead of a US visit by President Hassan Rouhani.

The paper was briefly shut down in 2012 after it published a controversial comic commemorating the Iran-Iraq War.

Read more: US human rights report calls China, Russia, Iran and North Korea 'forces of instability'

aw/rc (AP, AFP)

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