Sina Motallebi update
: Pedram tells me that Sina Motallebi, just released form Iranian prison on $3,800 bail, posted a few minor notes on his wife’s Persian weblog denying a quote attributed to him.
: Pedram also sent me this AP report:
TEHRAN, Iran – A reformist journalist who was jailed for giving interviews to foreign media has been released pending trial….
“I was released and will wait for the trial,” Motallebi told The Associated Press on Monday from his home.
He declined to specify the charges. His wife, Farnaz Ghazizadeh, said Motallebi must remain silent.
“He was interrogated since his detention on April 20. He accepted some of the charges and rejected the others,” his wife said. “I cannot disclose any more details.”
Motallebi developed a Farsi Web site after the government banned the reformist daily newspaper where he worked.
The ban came after the newspaper published a cartoon showing the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of Iran’s 1979 revolution, being crushed by a hand.
Since early 2000, Iran’s hard-line judiciary has closed about 90 pro-democracy publications and jailed several dozen writers and activists on vague charges of insulting authorities.
The crackdown is seen as part of a power struggle between reformists who support President Mohammad Khatami (news – web sites) and hard-liners who oppose any dilution of clerical rule.
: Newsweek online has reported on the unity of bloggers supporting Sina.
: SO MOTALLEBI HAS become a symbol