Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Crackdown on dissent gets serious

The Iranian government has taken steps, that seem more substantive than before, to suppress the opposition.

Iran Mutes a Chorus of Voices for Reform
The Iranian authorities on Monday suspended two prominent opposition political parties, banned a newspaper and handed down prison sentences to three reformist political figures, in the latest sign that the country’s hard-line rulers aim to crush any official political representation by the reformist movement.

The opposition parties, the Islamic Iran Participation Front and the Mujahedeen of the Islamic Revolution, were told to suspend all activities… The move was widely understood as a precursor to a full legal ban…

The government also banned the reformist newspaper Bahar, accusing it of spreading doubts about last June’s presidential election and questioning Iran’s Islamic system of government, according to the reformist Web site Parleman News. Bahar had started publishing only three months ago, after a government ban on the popular reformist daily Etemad.

The three politicians, Mostafa Tajzadeh, Davood Soleimani and Mohsen Mirdamadi, each received six-year prison sentences and a 10-year ban on all activities related to political parties or the news media… They were arrested last summer in the wake of the post-election protests and convicted in a mass trial of opposition supporters on charges of conspiracy and propaganda against the Iranian government…

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