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Iran bars publishing of opposition newspaper

[JURIST] The Iranian government on Wednesday prevented the publishing [press release, in Persian] of the opposition Etemad-e-Melli [media website, in Persian] newspaper in its latest move to quash anti-government reporting in the country. International journalists in the country have also been ordered to stay indoors [AP report]. The newspaper was linked to opposition candidate Mehdi Karroubi [personal website, in Persian]. Both he and candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi [IranTracker profile] have continued to criticize the government for both alleged election fraud and its harsh treatment of protesters and the press following the announcement that incumbent candidate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] had won the highly-disputed election [JURIST report]. In reaction to Mousavi's increasing criticism of the government, some in the government and its Basij [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] security forces have called for his arrest [Press TV report], calling him a threat to national security.

Earlier this week, Iran's Guardian Council of the Constitution [official website, in Persian] certified [press release, in Persian; JURIST report] the election results week after the Council rejected [BBC report] protesters' requests to abandon the results and start over after a partial recount [JURIST report]. Protests of the results have reportedly resulted in at least 17 deaths and hundreds of arrests [JURIST report]. Authorities stated that those arrested would be appropriately dealt with [Reuters report] by the court system. Human rights groups have viewed the arrests as political repression [JURIST report], saying that Iranian forces are using the protests to "engage in what appears to be a major purge of reform-oriented individuals." Amnesty International [advocacy website] has called for authorities to respect and nurture debate stressing [press release] that "healthy debate on issues of fundamental importance to peoples' lives" informs, rather than threatens, policy makers."

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