Iran newspaper head arrested over ‘prostitutes’ report

The head of Iran’s reformist newspaper Shargh was arrested after residents of a northeastern city accused the paper of defamation over a report on “prostitution” there, Iranian media says.

Mehdi Rahmanian was “summoned (by the courts) after a complaint by a group of residents of the Shahid Rajai neighbourhood of Mashhad,” the semi-official ISNA news agency reports, quoting the city’s deputy prosecutor Hassan Heydari.

“The newspaper had described some of the district’s women as prostitutes.”

Mashhad’s Khorassan newspaper says Rahmanian had been detained after failing to pay bail set at 500 million riyals (around $9,000/7,500 euros).

Shargh on April 8 published a report on the murder of a 6-year-old Afghan girl in the impoverished Shahid Rajai district of Mashhad, the second-largest city in Iran. The article quoted an official from an association for children and poor people who said the district was home to several brothels and that drugs were sold there. Khorassan said the article had provoked an angry protest by residents in front of the local mosque three days later.

AFP

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