Iranian paper banned for showing Clooney wearing 'Je suis Charlie' pin

Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:26pm EST
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DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran's hardline judiciary has banned a reformist newspaper for publishing a picture of Hollywood star George Clooney wearing a "Je suis Charlie" ("I am Charlie") button, Iranian newspapers reported on Monday.

Mardom-e Emrooz (Today's People) had come under criticism after running the image of the U.S. actor at last week's Golden Globes ceremony displaying his support for victims of a deadly attack two weeks ago on the Charlie Hebdo weekly in Paris.

A conservative press watchdog revoked Mardom-e Emrooz's permit only three weeks after it started publishing with a pledge to support President Hassan Rouhani in his political and social liberalization program, the official IRNA news agency said, citing board member Allaeddin Zohurian.

Like many other Hollywood celebrities, Clooney commands wide popularity among Iranian youths, although they only get to watch his movies on pirated videos. Almost all Hollywood productions are banned in the Islamic republic as "culturally decadent".

Twelve people were killed in the Jan. 7 shooting at the Charlie Hebdo office, carried out in retaliation for caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad.

Thousands of Islamist hardliners gathered outside the French embassy on Monday to denounce a new drawing of the Prophet published last Wednesday in the first issue of Charlie Hebdo after the shooting.

The cartoon has sparked violent clashes in other Muslim countries.

(Corrects typo in Golden Globes in second paragraph)

(Reporting by Mehrdad Balali; Editing by Tom Heneghan and Kevin Liffey)

Actor George Clooney and wife, Amal Clooney, arrive at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California January 11, 2015.  REUTERS/Danny Moloshok