http://latimesblogs .latimes. com/babylonbeyon d/2008/01/ zanan-a-voice- o.html

Zanan, a voice of women, silenced in Iran

<http://latimesblogs .latimes. com/photos/ uncategorized/ 2008/01/29/ zanan.jpg>
More bad news for press freedom in Iran.

On Tuesday word emerged that Iran’s leading women’s magazine has been
ordered to close.

Iranian censors shuttered <http://www.zanan.> Zanan Magazine, a
reform-minded feminist magazine active in promoting women’s rights for the
last 16 years. Authorities revoked its license and folks in Tehran say
there’s no hope for appeal.

Managing director Shahla Sherkat was once a hardline supporter of the
Iranian government but became disillusioned after the Iran-Iraq war. Zanan
managed to survive previous crackdowns by cautiously avoiding general
politics and focusing on women’s issues.

But that didn’t work, apparently.

According to preliminary reports it was banned for portraying a negative
image of women in Iran, but no official word has emerged yet.

The Iranian Journalists Association condemned the closeure. In the past two
years, 40 periodicals including Zanan have been banned across the country by
the Press Supervision Board, which is controlled by hardliners.

The closure inspired cynical commentary from Iranian bloggers. “I think the
average life of a magazine is no longer than the time required for getting
the ‘publishing licence,’ wrote Jadi, a blogger at
<http://jadi. civiblog. org/blog/ _archives/ 2008/1/29/ 3493053.html> Inside

Zanan (means women) used to be a “moderate” magazine. It never wrote
anything extreme to prevent its closing. But now, after 16 years the only
Persian women’s magazine is closed.

– <mailto:rmost12@yahoo. com> Ramin Mostaghim in Tehran

Image: A recent cover of the Iranian women’s magazine, Zanan, which was
ordered to close by authorities. Source: Zanan Magazine
<http://www.zanan.> website


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