A daily publication called Mizan, including its activities in 1998; country of residence in December 1998 of the Manager of Mizan; person who would sign a "certification" concerning the newspaper's activities in 1979 [IRN34227.E]

No information on the activities in Iran in 1998 of a publication by the name of Mizan could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

However, there was a newspaper by the name of Mizan which was closed by Iranian authorities in 1981 9IRNA 24 Jan. 1989; Facts on File 10 Apr. 1981; The New York Times 8 Apr. 1981). The paper "first appeared in September 1980" (ibid.; Facts on File 10 Apr. 1981) and was run by Mehdi Bazargan who had been Iran's first Prime Minister after the Islamic revolution (ibid.; IRNA 24 Jan. 1989; The New York Times 8 Apr. 1981). It was reportedly closed because of "two insulting editorials" and it had been critical of the authorities' handling of the American hostage crisis (ibid.; Facts on File 10 Apr. 1981). Mizan was also supportive of President Bani-Sadr in his disagreements with Islamic fundamentalists (ibid.; The New York Times 8 Apr. 1981). Former Commerce Minister Riza Sadr, was the "managing editor" and was arrested for writing the editorials (ibid.; Facts on File 10 Apr. 1981). The paper had "been operated as a nonprofit trust by a group of journalists. Mr. Bazargan's son, Abdul Ali, [had] been its editor" (The New York Times 8 Apr. 1981).

Following Riza Sadr's release on bail, Mizan was reported to have resumed publication on 26 April 1981 (Facts on File 8 May 1981) although it was subsequently reported to have been banned on 7 June 1981 (Iran: A Country Study 1989, 61). A 24 January 1989 IRNA report on Mehdi Bazargan's political party, The Freedom Movement Party, and its intention to contest the August elections, referred to statements by Bazargan that the party was hampered by the authorities' closing of its headquarters in 1988, as well as the party's "lack of printing facilities and absence of a newspaper for the promotion of the movement's ideology."

In a "declaration" on its formation, the opposition Democracy Network of Iran, in a summary of events from November 1994 to September 1995, included the following reference to Mizan:

December 1994: 500 Journalists demand better working conditions in Iran 500 Journalists warned us of perils of being journalists in Iran and demanded better working conditions in an open letter following the letter of 134. Since the revolution, all opposition papers have been shut down. The most recent one was "Mizan" of the late Bazargan's political party. Revocation of the Jahan-E-Eslam license in Feb. 1995 for alleged violation of the Press Act, Banning of the literary Journal TakaPou in March 1995 and finally, recent suspension of "Payam Daneshjoo's" license are some other examples of violation of Freedom of Press in the past year (n.d.).

The Research Directorate was unable to corroborate the above reference to the Mizan shutdown.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Democracy Network of Iran, College Park, MD. n.d. "The Declaration of Formation of the Democracy Network of Iran." http://www.d-n-i.org/ [Accessed 27 Apr. 2000]

Facts on File World News Digest. 8 May 1981. "Opposition Newspaper Reappears." (NEXIS)

_____. 10 April 1981. "Opposition Newspaper Closed." (NEXIS)

Iran: A Country Study. 1989. Edited by Helen Chapin Metz. Washington DC: Federal Research Division, Library of Congress.

IRNA. 24 January 1989. "Iran Former Premier Bazargan Says his Party Intends to Start Activities as Soon as Interior Ministry Approval Obtained." (BBC Summary 25 Jan. 1989/NEXIS)

The New York Times. 8 April 1981. "Iran's Largest Opposition Newspaper Ordered Closed." (NEXIS)

Additional Sources Consulted

Attacks on the Press 1994, 1995 [New York]. 1995-1996.

Benn's Media World 1996 [London]. 1996

Index on Censorship [London]. May 1994 - June 1996.

The International Directory of Little Magazines and Small Presses 1995-1996 [Paradise, Calif.]. 1995.

IRB databases



World News Connection (WNC)

Unsuccessful attempts to contact two non-documentary sources

Internet sites including:

Amnesty International

Committee to Protect Journalists

Human Rights Watch

International Freedom of Expression Exchange


Lawyers Committee for Human Rights

The Washington Post

Search engines including:

About.com (World Newspapers)