Iranian newspaper editor suspended over coverage of protests

Editor-in-chief of Etemad, Behrooz Behzadi, in his late 70s, is ‘accused of publishing false content’ following a complaint by Revolutionary Guard Corps

Protests following the death of in Tehran, Iran on September 21, 2022. (AP photo)
Protests following the death of in Tehran, Iran on September 21, 2022. (AP photo)

TEHRAN — Iranian authorities have banned the editor-in-chief of reformist daily Etemad “from any press activity for a year” over coverage of last year’s nationwide protests, the newspaper reported on Saturday.

The journalist, Behrooz Behzadi, was “accused of publishing false content,” Etemad said, citing a decision by the prosecutor’s office following a complaint by a Tehran branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps.

The complaint, according to Etemad, was in relation to reports it had published which detailed the October “kidnapping” of a scientist and “bans and arrests” of artists who backed the protest movement triggered by Mahsa Amini’s death.

The newspaper’s Saturday edition quoted Behzadi, in his late 70s, as saying the court had initially sentenced him to prison time but instead handed him the one-year suspension from work.

Iran was gripped by unrest following the September death in custody of 22-year-old Amini, an Iranian Kurd, following her arrest for an alleged breach of strict dress rules for women.

The demonstrations saw hundreds of people killed, including dozens of security personnel, and thousands arrested in connection with what officials labeled as “riots.”

In January, an Etemad report estimated that some 80 journalists were among the thousands arrested during the unrest.

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