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17 Jan 2010 20:28No Comments

Press Roundup provides a selected summary of news from the Iranian press, and excerpts where the source is in English. The link to the news organization or blog is provided at the top of each item. Tehran Bureau has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. Please refer to the Media Guide to help put the story in perspective.

Ebadi's sister released after heart attack

Tehran Bureau | Jan. 17, 2010

Dr. Nooshin Ebadi, sister of Nobel Laurate Shirin Ebadi, was released from prison on Thursday after suffering from a heart attack, according to a family member.

Dr. Ebadi, a dentist and university professor, was arrested on Dec. 28, 2009 to put pressure on her sister, an outspoken critic of the hardliners. Shirin Ebadi is not in Iran.

Although international pressure played a role in her release, it is more likely that government officials feared a high-profile death in prison and decided to free her. -- Muhammad Sahimi

Islamic Games canceled over 'Persian Gulf' logo

AP | Jan. 17,2010

A sporting event meant to strengthen ties among Muslim nations has been canceled because of a dispute between Arab countries and Iran over the name of the waterway dividing them, organizers said Sunday.

The Saudi-based sports federation that organizes the games said it canceled the event after Iran used the name "Persian Gulf" in the logo. Arabs call the waterway the Arabian Gulf and many of them feel offended by references to its other common name.

Iran jails opposition ex-MP for six years: lawyer

AFP | Jan. 17, 2010

Iran has sentenced senior reformist and former MP Mohsen Safai Farahani, arrested after the disputed June presidential election, to six years in jail, his lawyer said on Sunday.

Safai Farahani, who has been detained since June 20, was accused of "acting against national security, propaganda against the system, insulting officials and spreading lies," lawyer Hooshang Pourbabai told the state broadcaster.

He said the reformist had been sentenced to six years in jail for the first two charges and "acquitted of insulting officials and spreading lies for lack of evidence," adding there would be an appeal.

Iran sets up "special women police units"

Mehr | Jan. 17,2010

The Tehran police chief announced on Sunday that
special women police units to be established in Tehran police

These units will deal with women affairs and only female staff will
run the units, Brigadier Azizollah Rajabzadeh said.

It was not practical to set up separate police stations for women, he added.

Earlier, the Tehran police department had announced that separate
women police stations would be established in Tehran.

Man dies after setting off bomb in Iran city: report

Reuters | Jan. 17,2010

A man set off an explosive device near a provincial governor's office in northeastern Iran on Saturday night, fatally wounding himself but causing no other damage, an Iranian news agency reported.

The incident, four days after a remote-controlled bomb killed a university scientist in Tehran, occurred in Mashhad, one of the Islamic Republic's largest cities, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported.

The explosive device went off when security personnel near the office of the governor of Khorasan Razavi province approached the man after he had raised their suspicions.

"The person carrying the device was critically wounded and taken to hospital. Police are investigating the case," Fars said, giving no other detail.

The man later died from his wounds, Fars said.

Ex-Tehran prosecutor rejects post-vote abuse report

Reuters | Jan. 17,2010

Tehran's former chief prosecutor has rejected parliamentary criticism of his role in the alleged mistreatment of people detained after Iran's election last year, accusing MPs of showing sympathy for a "bunch of hooligans."

Members of a parliamentary investigative committee hit back at Saeed Mortazavi, an ally of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and defended the findings in a critical report it issued last week about the treatment of post-vote detainees.

The committee blamed Mortazavi for ordering the transfer of 147 people, arrested during widespread unrest that erupted after the disputed June poll, to Tehran's Kahrizak jail despite a lack of space there. Three detainees at Kahrizak later died.

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