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Iranian Court Arrests Reformist Journalist - 2003-07-14

An Iranian court has arrested a reformist journalist who was the director of a weekly magazine closed by the government nearly two years ago.

The Iranian student news service says Tavana magazine director Iraj Rasteghar was jailed Monday, after failing to post bond of about $8,000 (200 million rials). The charges against him have not been reported.

At least four other Iranian journalists are known to have been arrested in recent days, and more than 20 others are currently known to be serving prison terms.

In related developments, the reformist daily Hambasteghi newspaper received a temporary ban Sunday, reportedly for not publishing the name of its manager.

Last week, a Canadian freelance photojournalist of Iranian origin died while in the custody of Iranian authorities.

The death of 54-year-old Zahra Kazemi triggered a new round of international criticism and an Iranian cabinet-level investigation of the death. Iranian authorities said Ms. Kazemi died of a stroke. She was arrested late last month for taking pictures outside Tehran's notorious Evin prison. Relatives say she was beaten into a coma.