Iranians Want Release of Scholar
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) _ Iranian journalists and students urged President Mohammad Khatami to press for the release of a reformist religious scholar, saying Wednesday that his detention was a blow to freedom of expression.
The Association of Islamic Students demanded that Khatami abolish the Special Clerical Court that detained Mohsen Kadivar on Saturday for questioning. The court, a conservative-led body that reports only to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, operates independently from Iran’s judicial system.
``Students and free-thinking people expect the honorable president to abolish this illegal body as soon as possible,″ a statement by the student movement said.
Kadivar, who has backed reforms, was detained by the court on charges of ``confusing public opinion″ in interviews with the press and in his lectures, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency.
``No reason can be traced″ for Kadivar’s arrest, said a letter by managing directors of Iran’s major daily newspapers. Kadivar, a university lecturer, is a ``sincere and hard working″ promoter of religious beliefs, IRNA quoted the letter as saying.
It said his arrest was ``a blow to the realm of freedom of expression and the press.″