Wednesday, December 11, 2002

BBC News: ((Iran's youth reveal anger and sadness))
"The faceless men from the ministry called me on the mobile phone. "We are deporting you tomorrow morning because you have taken pictures of prostitutes. This is not a true reflection of life in our Islamic Republic. We don't have prostitutes."

But it was hard not to take pictures of prostitutes. Walking out of the Laleh Hotel, a favourite for journalists in Tehran, they are waiting under the trees in the nearby park and climbing into the cars which kerb crawl along the wide avenues.

...When Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran to lead the revolution 23 years ago, he was honest enough to warn the people of the new Islamic Republic that "Islam offers no joy".

...The Ministry of Islamic Guidance, which monitors all journalistic activity in Iran, gave me permission to report on social change in Iran yet I was deported for taking pictures of prostitutes and talking to a student.

It could, alas, be a long time before Iran abandons the practice of flogging partying students and stoning women to death."

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