Iran arrests employees of news site which showed vice president applauding dancing women in Turkey
Published 01.05.07, 02:44
An editor and manager of the Iranews.org website have been arrested, after the site posted a video of the Iranian Vice President, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaee, "taking part in a ceremony in Turkey where unveiled women were dancing," Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported last week.
According to an employee of Iranews.org , the two employees under arrest were invited to meet with Vice President Rahim-Mashaee after their website posted the video. "But Mr. Mashaee did not come and some unknown people arrested" the employees, the report said, adding that "under Iran's Islamic laws men are not allowed to watch women dance and sing."
Meanwhile, the DPA news agency reported that Mashaee has "come under fire" over the video, "which shows him watching and applauding women dancing during a ceremony in Istanbul ."
Quoting Iranian media sources, the DPA said the Iranian vice president dismissed the video as "a smear campaign."
"I am charged to have attended a private party although it was an official cultural ceremony in Istanbul attended by the city's mayor and the secretary general of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference," Mashaee added.
'Suddenly I was faced with a dance'
Mashaee, who is also Head of Cultural Heritage, accused Iranian members of parliament opposed to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government of being behind the video,in a complaint to the Tehran Public Prosecution Officers, the Iran Mania website said .
In his complaint, Mashaee said he did not know women would be dancing during the ceremony. "I was not aware of the content of the program while it was being presented. I was suddenly faced with a dance. In a critical way, I mentioned the topic to Mr. Ebrahim Oglu, the secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Conference. He pretended that this was not a serious problem, and I think he said that this is an Erfani (mystical) dance." Ref. ynetnews.com