Iran shut down a daily for the second time in less than a year after the paper published an interview with a woman accused of being a homosexual. The ban comes amid growing pressure on the press in Iran and follows the closure of fellow daily Ham Mihan last month.
Shargh, the newspaper published a full-page interview with an expatriate Iranian poet who lives in Canada, under the headline “Feminine Language.” The press watchdog voted for the ban by examining an article which involves a person who promotes immorality. Saghi Ghahreman, whose interview the magazine published is the editor of a website called “Cheragh” (Lantern) which focuses on Iranian lesbian and gay issues. Shargh, the newspaper, had only returned to the news-stands in May after serving a nine-month ban for publishing a cartoon deemed offensive to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The paper, however, published a front-page apology for the interview, saying it had been “unaware of this person’s personal traits” and would in future “avoid such people and movements.”