Manager of Iranian newspaper detained in libel case

Iranian authorities have detained the head of a reformist newspaper over an article that alleged prostitution at a residential complex in the eastern city of Mashhad.

The semi-official ISNA news agency reported Saturday that several people filed legal complaints about the article in the Shargh newspaper, saying it had insulted women. The article provided no evidence to support its claim of prostitution.

ISNA quoted Hassan Heidari, the deputy prosecutor in Mashhad, as saying that the newspaper's director general, Mehdi Rahmanian, was detained and will be required to pay compensation to the plaintiffs.

Iran has detained a number of reform-minded journalists over the years and shuttered media seen as overly critical of the government.