Iranian hardliners sabotage French concert

11th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

TEHRAN, Oct 9 (AFP) - Concerts organised by European embassies in Tehran have become the latest victims of a cultural crackdown by Iranian hardliners, witnesses said Saturday.

TEHRAN, Oct 9 (AFP) - Concerts organised by European embassies in Tehran have become the latest victims of a cultural crackdown by Iranian hardliners, witnesses said Saturday.  

A French-sponsored classical concert got minimal attendance Friday after the ticket office was told to inform those seeking tickets that the event had been cancelled, and a German-organised concert suffered a similar fate, witnesses and diplomats told AFP.  

Diplomats said that a series of concerts organised by the Swiss and Italian embassies had been cancelled altogether following complaints by hard-line newspapers that organisers were seeking to promote Western music among the Iranian public.  

The Jomhuri Islami newspaper has accused the culture ministry, which is run by reformists, of "inviting foreign musical groups".  

Police reportedly briefly detained many members of the audience following a recent concert organised by the wife of the Turkish ambassador to raise money for victims of last December's earthquake in Bam.  

The concert was only open to women, and those carrying diplomatic passes were let off, witnesses said.  

In recent months, hard-line deputies in the Iranian parliament have complained about cultural events organised by foreigners here, calling for tighter controls and accusing reformists of being too lax.

 

© AFP

Subject: French News

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