Tehran University has announced that the Sobh-e Farda student newspaper has been shut down after publishing an article in support of Shahin Najafi, the controversial Iranian rapper.
The Fars News Agency reports that, according to the university administration, the newspaper was immediately banned after the publication of the article, and its editor-in-chief and writer have been summoned by the university’s disciplinary committee.
The report indicates that 100 to 150 copies of the newspaper were published, and one copy has to be sent directly to the administration. Once the article was deemed problematic, all copies were immediately collected from the campus.
The article has reportedly criticized the Fatwa issued by Shiite leaders against Najafi for his song "Naghi", referring to provisions of the Human Rights Charter to argue against the Fatwa.
Najafi had settled in Germany and is now in hiding, after Shiite leaders condemned his song "Naghi", which is addressed to the tenth Imam of the Shiites. The song has been seen as an insult to the holy figure and worthy of an execution sentence.
Najafi is now under police protection in Germany and has cancelled all his concerts.
Editor-in-chief of Sobh-e Farda has rejected the charges against his newspaper and insists that the article contains no insults.
The university administration states, however, that the decision will rest with the disciplinary committee. If the intention to insult is established, the students will be expelled from university.