Iranian authorities shut Aseman newspaper on Thursday, less than a week after its launch, because it published comments calling Qesas (eye-for-an-eye punishment) inhumane. Abbas Bozorgmehr, the newspaper's managing director was sent to prison. According to reports collected by Iran Human Rights (IHR) since the beginning of January 2014, 52 people have been executed in Iran sentenced to Qesas (retribution convicted of murder. 18 of the executions have been announced by the official media. Iran Human Rights, February 20: According to the official Iranian news agency IRNA the newly launched "Aseman" newspaper, was banned today.
Quoting an official from Tehran's Prosecutor's office the report said that the newspaper was banned "for spreading lies and insulting Islam" .
Last Tuesday (18. February) the newspaper had quoted a political science professor describing eye-for-an-eye punishment as "inhumane". This led to hard criticism from several news agencies and officials close to the Revolutionary Guards IRGC.
The paper's managing director, Abbas Bozorgmehr, who was summoned to the Prosecutor's office, was sent to the Evin prison since he couldn't provide a 300 million Toman (100000 USD) caution bail.
Mohammad Ghouchani, Aseman newspaper's editor in chief issued an apology later today saying: "A technical problem at the last moments of printing led to this incident. If it were not for that, we would have deleted that part from the article," according to IRNA.
Iranian authorities regard any opposition to the death penalty as an insult to Islam. However, in the recent months there has been a growing opposition to this punishment and some months ago an abolitionist campaign called Legam (step by Step abolishment of the death penalty) was formed inside Iran.