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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 13 Dec 1998 to 14 Dec 1998

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 13 Dec 1998 to 14 Dec 1998
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There are 12 messages totalling 781 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Iranian Papers Press for Freedom
2. Football news: Daei leads Iran into semi-finals
3. IRNA: Asgarowladi: recent murders have roots abroad
4. Tehran schools closed to protect children from pollution
5. Rezaie holds zionists responsible for recent murders in iran
6. IRNA: karrubi urges judiciary to take quick action on recent murders
7. Iranian leaders vow to end deadly attacks on writers and dissidents
8. mohajerani: killers of journalists should be brought to book
9. UA 310/98 Fear for safety/possible disappearance
10. ET Iranian police report arrests in killings of dissidents
11. wrong to attribute recent murderers to ruling system
12. president on murders

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 12:53:16 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: Iranian Papers Press for Freedom

Iranian Papers Press for Freedom

By SCHEHEREZADE FARAMARZI

.c The Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Waving old copies of the banned liberal newspaper
Tous, Iranian youths at a pro-democracy rally shouted as if they were fans
at a soccer match: ``Give us back the freedom paper!''

``Freedom, forever!'' they yelled, their voices getting louder and angrier.
``Yazdi, resign, resign!'' they chanted, referring to Ayatollah Mohammad
Yazdi, who as the head of the nation's powerful judiciary is behind the
closure of about half a dozen newspapers and the arrests of several
journalists.

Iran's newspapers are at the center of the battle between President
Mohammad Khatami and the hard-line clerics who oppose his efforts to
liberalize government and society.

The newspapers do not just cover the news, they are the news.

Since Iran has no formal political parties, most of Tehran's 37 papers have
become stand-in parties -- each with its own platform -- in what has become
the liveliest debate about democracy the country has ever seen.

The moderates claim about a dozen newspapers, the hard-liners at least five
including Shalamcheh, which reflects the extremist views of the Ansar-e
Hezbollah -- a vigilante group that regularly breaks up pro-democracy
rallies and attacks dissidents.

The outspoken Tous, closed down in September, has become a symbol of the
struggle for a free press. Its editor, Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, says the
liberal papers started after Khatami's election are being attacked by
hardliners to undermine the president.

``They were unable to fight him directly, so they attacked his achievements
to weaken him,'' said Shamsolvaezin, whose paper's 300,000 circulation made
it the second largest in Iran.

Shamsolvaezin, who was jailed along with three colleagues, said 30
vigilantes stormed his newspaper in September, blindfolded them and made
them stand against the wall.

``It was very uncivilized,'' he said at his Tehran home shortly after his
release, a month after he was arrested.

Tous' struggle to survive is typical of how the battle over Iran's future
is being fought.

The paper began publishing with the name Jameah after Khatami became
president in August 1997. A court order, alleging libel and fabrication of
stories, closed it down last June.

It reappeared under two other names -- Tous and Aftab-e Emrouz -- after
being given new licenses to publish by the Ministry of Culture and
Guidance, which is under Khatami's control.

Each time it was shut down by the judiciary, which is run by the hard-liners.
The paper was first closed after it reported that the commander of the
Revolutionary Guards Corps, Gen. Rahim Safavi, told his troops in a private
meeting to ``cut out the throats and tongues'' of the liberal press.

But Tous had a stormy relationship with the hard-liners from the start,
partly because it questioned the absolute powers of Iran's supreme leader,
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The paper was closed for good June 16, a day after Khamenei ordered the
judiciary to get tough on newspapers he claimed had abused press freedom.
Several other publications, including the lively Rah-e Now, also were closed.

Shamsolvaezin has refused to apologize for questioning Khamenei's absolute
powers and demands to know the legal reason his paper was shut down.

``The constitution stipulates that the leader is like any other citizen
before the law,'' he said. ``What did we do wrong? What did we violate?
Give us a constitutional reason why and where we acted against the law.''

But even some moderates say Tous went too far in attacking the right-wing
clerics.

``Tous marched ahead with a sharp object and plunged it right into their
stomach,'' said Abbas Abdi, editor of the liberal daily Salam.

Some journalists say Tous miffed Khamenei because it ignored an unspoken
rule of Iranian newspapers -- dedicating the top of the front page and a
few inside columns to news about the leader and senior clergymen.

But Ali Movahedi Savoji, a hard-line member of Parliament, says the
judiciary acted completely under the law in banning Tous.

``Over the past year, we gave them 114 warnings that they were violating
the law,'' Savoji said. ``The press is free, but at the same time laws have
to be obeyed.''

Shamsolvaezin viewed the situation differently.

``We have freedom of expression in Iran,'' he said. ``But the problem is
freedom after expression.''

AP-NY-12-13-98 1402EST

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 20:00:26 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Football news: Daei leads Iran into semi-finals

BANGKOK, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Bayern Munich striker Ali Daei lashed home three
goals in the last 10 minutes to lead Iran to an easy 4-0 quarter-final win
over Asian Games soccer champions Uzbekistan on Monday.
Iranian coach Mansour Pourhadari was delighted wiht his team's play but had
special mention for Daei.
"All my players are the best but Daei is the very best," he said with a
grin.
The win kept Iran's team off mainly World Cup players on course to regain
their title as Asian soccer champions which they last held in 1990.
The game started evenly with both teams missing early chances but the more
experienced Iranians were quicker to settle down and struck 15 minutes
before half time.
Sayedali Mousavi latched onto a good through ball, evaded the advancing
goalkeeper and slotted the ball into an open goal.
Iran could have been two or three up at the break but valiant saves by
goalkeeper Bugalo Phvel kept the score 1-0 until Daei's late hat trick.
His first two were almost identical as he swooped on balls on the left wing
and moved in towards the goal, each time beating the keeper with shots into
the near corner of the net.
The two goal rush took the strength out of a tiring Uzbekistan team and then
Daei delivered his coup de grace.
He headed home a corner as no defenders rose with hin to meet the ball.
The only bright spot for Uzbekistan was a lovely long range shot from
Lebedev Sergey in the second half that beat the keeper only to hit the cross
bar and rebound within inches of the line.

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 20:01:48 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: IRNA: Asgarowladi: recent murders have roots abroad

Tehran, dec. 14, irna -- secretary general of the islamic coalition
association (ica) habibollah asgarowladi here on sunday said that
all iranian citizens, irrespective of their ethnicity and belief,
should be protected by the government, and that the government should
guarantee their security.
speaking at the concluding session of the ica central council
convention, asgarowladi stressed that providing security is amongst
the basic responsibilities of the ministries of interior and
information as well as the law enforcement forces.
''if the time and energy of government officials, specially those
in the interior ministry, is mostly spent on political activities, and
thus they become careless of this important issue (security), there
would be grounds for great concern and regret, and the nation would
suffer major losses,'' he said.
stressing that the recent murders in the country are masterminded
by the cia, mossad and the mko terrorist organization, asgarowladi
said the culprits aim to present a bleak image of the security in
iran, so to get the so-called human rights organizations involved in
the issue.

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 20:01:11 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Tehran schools closed to protect children from pollution

TEHRAN, Dec 14 (AFP) - Tehran authorities ordered elementary
schools here closed on Monday to protect children from pollution
which has reached alarming levels.
The education ministry issued the order after warnings by
environmental authorities that the capital's "severe air pollution
has become worse over the past two days," newspapers reported.
"I hope parents will advise their children to stay at home and
do their homework," Education Minister Hussein Mozaffar said
Sunday.
The government last week warned people, especially the elderly,
people suffering from allergies and children, to stay away from
central Tehran as pollution levels went "beyond dangerous levels."
The weather office confirmed stable weather conditions have
prevented thick smog from dispersing from the city, home to around
10 million people.
Pollution has been rising in many other Iranian cities, where
vehicles are often old and not equipped with smog-control devices.
Authorities in Esfahan, a historical city in central Iran, said
Sunday the city "is the second most polluted in the country after
Tehran with about 70 percent of pollution due to car emissions."
Newspapers have put pressure on the authorities to come up with
a solution to the worsening pollution.
"We cannot wait for a disaster before thinking of a solution,"
Hamshahri daily said.
The government has proposed a 300 percent increase in rock
bottom petrol prices next year to encourage people to reduce their
use of private vehicles.
Iranians currently pay under seven cents a litre for petrol,
which the government has argued has led to waste and pollution.
The authorities have for many years also restricted traffic in
central Tehran, though the restrictions are often flaunted.
Vice-president and head of the Environmental Protection Agency,
Massumeh Ebtekar, warned Monday there will be "grave social crises"
unless the country tackles the problem of pollution.

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 20:02:03 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Rezaie holds zionists responsible for recent murders in iran

Abadan, khuzestan prov., dec. 14, irna -- expediency council
secretary mohsen rezaie here on monday attributed recent tragic
murders in the country to the zionists.
talking to a number of local students, rezaie said there are signs
that implicate the zionists in recent murders in a bid to prevent
the islamic republic of iran from attaining its objectives.
the zionists are launching a disinformation campaign against
iran and the goal behind such murders is to divide the society and
prevent the government's objectives from being realized, he said.
he said that a specialized team is busy investigating the
issue.
more than anyone else, the government is the main target of such
plots, said rezaie, adding that this prompts officials to adopt
necessary measures to put an end to such murders as soon as possible.
he said there is weakness in the country's security management
which should be rectified by the government.

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 20:01:29 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: IRNA: karrubi urges judiciary to take quick action on recent murders

tehran, dec. 14, irna -- the secretary of the leftist majma'e
rouhanioun-e mobarez (militant clerics league) on sunday urged the
head of the judiciary ayatollah mohammad yazdi to "expeditiously
investigate" the recent murders of writers and authors. he also said
that the national security and stability were being threatened.
karrubi, in his letter added that the judiciary chief must
employ the services of the information ministry, the police and all
other security forces to identify, apprehend and bring to justice
those responsible for the crimes, the english language daily iran
news reported monday.
"surely the information ministry which captured the culprits
responsible for the assassination of martyr lajevardi (head of the
prison system) in 48 hours, can act as quickly as and decisively in
this case too," karrubi said in his letter.
a spate of kidnappings and murders in iran has caused growing
concern among the officials, the press and the people. it has also
prompted protests by international organizations advocating human
rights.
a number of opposition writers, intellectuals and politicians
have been mysteriously killed by yet unidentified persons.
minister of culture and islamic guidance ataollah mohajerani on
sunday condemned the recent killings. "a nation cannot accept murder
and kidnapping of its cultural figures," he said.
in a letter to president khatami sunday, 140 members of parliament
referred to the "disappearance" and "suspicious deaths" of a number
of people as "indicative of major and elaborate conspiracies against
the system."

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 20:04:11 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iranian leaders vow to end deadly attacks on writers and dissidents

TEHRAN, Dec 14 (AFP) -Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah
Ali Khamenei and President Mohammad Khatami vowed
Monday to do everything possible to halt a wave of deadly
attacks against writers and dissidents.

Khamenei, in his first comments on the spate of
kidnappings and murders of opposition figures in the
Islamic Republic, ordered the security forces to arrest those
behind the killings.

"The murder of citizens, whoever they might be, is a crime
against the country's national security," state television
quoted Khamenei as telling a group of clerics.

"The ministers of intelligence and interior as well as the
judiciary must seriously pursue the case. There is no doubt
that the role of the enemy will be exposed in the recent
events," he said.

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 20:04:25 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: mohajerani: killers of journalists should be brought to book

Tehran, dec. 14, irna -- minister of culture and islamic guidance
ataollah mohajerani said here sunday that the country's security
organization should conduct an extensive investigation to find the
roots of the recent incidents and arrest the murderers of the iranian
journalists.

talking to the press, the minister underlined that ''before
presenting of any hypothesis, we should wait for the country's
security departments to report on the reasons and circumstances under
which these acts of the killings were committed.''

''there exists no differences of opinion among the iranian
officials and that all of them concur on the need to arrest and punish
those involved in the latest serial killings," said mohajerani.

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 20:29:56 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: UA 310/98 Fear for safety/possible disappearance

UA 310/98 Fear for safety/possible disappearance
11 December 1998

IRAN Mohammad Ja'far Puyandeh, writer
Hushang Golshiri, writer
Kazem Kordavani, writer
'Ali Ashraf Darvishiyan, writer
Mansur Kushan, writer

Mohammad Mokhtari, writer (dead)


Amnesty International is gravely concerned for the safety of the
prominent Iranian writers named above. One of the five, Mohammad
Ja'far Puyandeh, has been missing since 9 December 1998.

The five were questioned by the Iranian authorities in October in
connection with their attempt to establish an independent writers'
association called Kanun. Writer Mohammad Mokhtari, who was
questioned with them, 'disappeared' on 3 December and was found
dead six days later, in unexplained circumstances. Unconfirmed
reports say marks on his head and neck suggest he was beaten and
strangled.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Critics of the government, and independent writers, have come under
attack in the past month. Journalist and translator Majid Sharif, who
had written for the banned publication Iran-e Farda, went missing on
20 November while on his way to the funeral of a Shi'ite cleric in the
town of Mashhad. His family were summoned to a mortuary in Tehran
to identify his body on 24 November 1998. The official coroner's
report gave heart failure as the cause of death.

Amnesty International has expressed its concern at the
circumstances of Majid Sharif's death.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send
telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail letters :- urging the Iranian
authorities to guarantee the safety of Mohammad Ja'far Puyandeh,
Hushang Golshiri, Kazem Kordavani, 'Ali Ashraf Darvishiyan and
Mansur Kushan;
- urging the Iranian authorities to clarify the status and whereabouts
of Mohammad Ja'far Puyandeh;
- requesting that, as a matter of urgency, the Iranian authorities
undertake a full, impartial and independent investigation into the
deaths of Majid Sharif and Mohammad Mokhtari, and that they make
public the results of any such investigation;
- reminding the government of Iran of its commitment to the Universal
eclaration of Human Rights, in particular Article 3: 'Everyone has the
ight to life, liberty and security of person'.
APPEALS TO
eader of the Islamic Republic
is Excellency Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue
Azerbaijan Intersection
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Your Excellency:

Telegrams: Ayatollah Khamanei, Tehran, Iran



President
His Excellency The Presidency, Palestine Avenue
Hojjatoleslam val Moslemin Sayed Mohammad Khatami
Azerbaijan Intersection
Tehran, The Islamic Republic of Iran
Your Excellency

Telegrams: President Khatami, Tehran, Iran


Head of the Judiciary
His Excellency Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi
Ministry of Justice
Park-e Shahr, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Your Exellency:
Telegrams: Head of the Judiciary, Tehran, Iran


COPIES TO:
Minister of Foreign Affairs
His Excellency Kamal Kharrazi
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Sheikh Abdolmajid Keshk-e Mesri Avenue
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Mr Mohammad Hassan Zia'i-Far,
Secretary, Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 13165-137, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Faxes: 011 98 21 204 0541

Please send appeals immediately. Check with the Colorado between
9:00 am and 6:00 pm, Mountain Time, weekdays only, if sending
appeals after 22 January 1999.

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 22:08:07 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: ET Iranian police report arrests in killings of dissidents

WIRE:Dec. 14, 2:58 p.m. ET Iranian police report arrests in killings of
dissidents

AP News Service

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) _ Iranian authorities have arrested the first suspects
in a string of slayings of dissidents that has terrified intellectuals
opposed to hard-liners in the ruling clergy, state radio said Monday.

Iran radio quoted an unnamed judiciary spokesman as saying police had
made some arrests in the five slayings. It did not elaborate, and
judiciary officials were not immediately available for comment.

Meanwhile, the official newspaper, Iran, said two other political
activists remained missing: Pirouz Davani, who led a small political
group called the United Left, and Rostami Hamedani, an activist allied
with Davani. It gave no other details.

In a speech Monday to a group of clerics, Iran's supreme leader,
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, condemned the slayings, saying ``the killing of
citizens, whatever their beliefs may be, is a crime.''

Khamenei leans toward hard-line clergymen who have been the target of
criticism of Iranian liberals, including the three writers and two
opposition activists killed in the past month.

The conservative clergymen are opposed to moderate President Mohammad
Khatami's attempts at social and political reforms.

Hard-line activists and vigilantes have often resorted to violence
against Khatami's supporters, but nobody has accused the hard-line camp
of being behind the killings.

The hard-liners have blamed unnamed foreign agencies and even an exiled
Iranian opposition group.

One opposition writer, Houshang Golshiri, said the killings have spread
panic among dissidents.

``Some of our intellectual friends have been trying to keep a low
profile by moving out of their homes into the homes of friends or
relatives,'' Golshiri said in a telephone interview.

Golshiri had been working with seven other dissidents, including two of
the dead writers _ Mohammad Jafar Pouyandeh and Mohammad Mokhtari _ to
establish a writers' association.

Pouyandeh and Mokhtari were summoned by a court two months ago for
questioning about their activities. Their bodies were later found dumped
on the outskirts of Tehran. They were apparently strangled.

Another writer, Majid Sharif, was also found dead after disappearing
from his home. The head of an Iranian opposition group, Dariush Foruhar,
and his wife, Parvaneh, were found stabbed to death in their home Nov.
22.

Khatami said in a statement Monday that the government was determined to
bring the killers to justice.

He said there was ``high hope'' that a special investigative team he set
up would ``soon have something to report to the nation.''

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 21:32:43 +0000
From: "a.abdi" <a.abdi@BTINTERNET.COM>
Subject: wrong to attribute recent murderers to ruling system

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<pre> =
=

<br>thr 047 =
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<br>writers-murder =
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<br>ziba=1Dkalam: it is wrong to attribute recent murderers to ruling sys=
tem
<br>ilam, dec. 14, irna -- university professor sadeq ziba-kalam said =
=

<br>on monday that attributing the recent tragic murders in tehran to the=
=

<br>islamic republic is an outright mistake. =
=

<br> he said it is wrong to think that a particular wing from within =
=

<br>the islamic republic has been involved in murders of dariush foruhar =
=

<br>(veteranpolitical activist), his wife parvaneh, writer mohammad =
=

<br>mokhtari and mohammad ja'far puyandeh. =
=

<br> ''the current organized crimes serve none of the political wings =
=

<br>inside the islamic republic either the extreme right or conservative.=
=

<br>the murders have dealt an irreparable blow to the prestige of =
=

<br>iran,'' he said. =
=

<br> ''how one can imagine that those loving islam and the islamic =
=

<br>revolution might be unaware of the damage the current murders =
=

<br>inflict on the islamic republic?'' ziba-kalam asked. =
=

<br> he said, ''i think an organized and experienced current which =
=

<br>leaves no traces is involved in the murders. they will be =
=

<br>possibly identified by the security and police froces in coming =
=

<br>weeks.'' =
=

<br> the university instructor said the murders have also dealt a blow=
=

<br>to president mohammad khatami's detente policy. =
=

<br> he said in the past decades similar murders had bee =
=

<br>committed in latin america by the death squads, but, despite killing =
=

<br>of intellectuals, political, cultural and literary figures, the =
=

<br>movement toward democracy never stopped. =
=

<br>ss/rr =
=

<br>end =
=

<br>::irna 14/12/98 16:26 =

<br>=00 =

<br></pre></html>
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------------------------------

Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 21:36:20 +0000
From: "a.abdi" <a.abdi@BTINTERNET.COM>
Subject: president on murders

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<pre> =
=

<br>thr 031 =
=

<br>killings-president =
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<br> =1D presidential statement aims to calm down anxiety over murders =
=

<br>tehran, dec. 14, irna -- president mohammad khatami's office here on =
=

<br>monday issued a statement reiterating the government's resolve to =
=

<br>expeditiously identify and bring to justice the perpetrators of the =
=

<br>recent mysterious murders. =
=

<br> three prominent writers have been murdered in iran in the past =
=

<br>few weeks, which has prompted the fear that the crimes are part of a =
=

<br>conspiracy which before long would result in more deaths. =
=

<br> the presidential statement is in response to public concerns as =
=

<br>well as to a letter sent to the president by some 140 majlis deputies=
=

<br>expressing great concern about the murders and calling for prompt =
=

<br>identification of the culprits. =
=

<br> the statement issued by the president's office noted that the =
=

<br>recent crimes have not only targeted the lives of the citizens, but =
=

<br>also it is an assault on the prestige of the islamic republic. =
=

<br> it further assured the public that the issue has been the main =
=

<br>preoccupation of the president during the recent days. "with the =
=

<br>formation of the special judicial-security team and with support of =
=

<br>the leadership, there is high hope that the team would soon have =
=

<br>something to report to the nation on the issue," it added. =
=

<br> the statement also expressed the president's appreciation for =
=

<br>the public sentiments regarding the issue, and his solidarity with =
=

<br>the victims' families. =
=

<br> it further reflected the president's plea to the public to =
=

<br>understand the country's sensitive position in the world, to stay =
=

<br>conscious of the enemies evil plots, to continue their vigilant =
=

<br>presence at the political scenes of the country, and finally to =
=

<br>support the authorities in their campaign against the violence, for =
=

<br>institutionalization of the law and for securing the respect and =
=

<br>dignity of the citizens. =
=

<br> ''the president of the islamic republic of iran and the =
=

<br>government, once again reiterate their commitment to defend the =
=

<br>legitimate rights of all the citizens, specially their security, and =
=

<br>will continue their campaign unwaveringly until reaching the =
=

<br>desirable result,'' the statement read in conclusion. =
=

<br>mr/ks =
=

<br>end =
=

<br>::irna 14/12/98 14:45 =

<br>=00 =

<br></pre></html>
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------------------------------

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 13 Dec 1998 to 14 Dec 1998
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