Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Iran closes newspaper over cartoon furor

Iran closed one of the country's top newspapers and detained its editor and cartoonist after an insulting cartoon caused a riot among ethnic Azeris.

The government closed the state-owned newspaper "due to its publication of divisive and provocative materials."

Marchers in Azeri-dominated Tabriz protest an insulting cartoon that appeared in a leading Iranian newspaper.
Marchers in Azeri-dominated Tabriz protest an insulting cartoon that appeared in a leading Iranian newspaper. Police used tear gas to disperse the protesters after a riot broke out. AP photo from Yahoo News.

Riots broke out Monday in Tabriz after the cartoon appeared showing a cockroach speaking in the Azeri language.

Azeris make up about a quarter of Iran's population and some Azeri leaders said the government's actions against the newspaper came too late.



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