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Wednesday, 13 March, 2002, 16:12 GMT
Iranian dissident freed on bail
Supporters of President Mohammad  Khatami hold his pictures during a rally
Khatami came to power promising more political freedom
An Iranian journalist has been released on bail after being held in prison for more than a year.

Hoda Saber, aged 41, was the editor of the now banned Iran-e-Farda magazine, which advocated greater democracy in Iran.

Iranian conservative clerics
Iran's hardliners control many key institutions
He is also a member of a liberal political group, the National Religious Alliance, which is opposed to the conservative clerics and advocates non-violent political reforms in Iran.

Mr Saber was arrested in January last year along with many other members of the group, most of whom since have been freed on bail.

In another development, a liberal member of the Iranian parliament, Shahrbanoo Amani, was given a suspended four-month jail sentence, after she was convicted of insulting a conservative deputy in a newspaper article.

Correspondents say the moves are part of a power struggle between reformists, led by President Mohammad Khatami, and the conservatives, who have closed down many liberal publications.

Mr Khatami won presidential elections in 1997, and since then has been trying to ease religious restrictions and allow more political freedom in Iran.

However, his reform drive has been stalled by Iran's religious hardliners, who control many key institutions, including the judiciary.

See also:

06 Feb 02 | Middle East
Tapes fuel Iran dissident murders debate
07 Jan 01 | Middle East
'Cover-up' in Iran murder trial
02 Jan 01 | Middle East
Iran murder trial: Four confess
30 Nov 00 | Middle East
Iranian journalist names names
29 Nov 00 | Middle East
Iranian reformist trials to reopen
28 Nov 00 | Middle East
Iran bans popular youth title
09 Nov 00 | Middle East
Uproar as Iran judge accused
19 Jul 00 | Middle East
Iran timeline
20 Dec 00 | Country profiles
Country profile: Iran
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