Iran General NewsTop Iranian dissident hits one month on hunger strike

Top Iranian dissident hits one month on hunger strike

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AFP: Iran’s most prominent jailed dissident, journalist Akbar Ganji, has completed one month of hunger strike and is now demanding his unconditional release, his wife was quoted as saying Monday.
“After 31 days of hunger strike, Ganji has a very good morale and wishes to continue his action,” Massoumeh Shafiie told the semi-official ILNA news agency after meeting her husband in Tehran’s Evin prison. AFP

TEHRAN – Iran’s most prominent jailed dissident, journalist Akbar Ganji, has completed one month of hunger strike and is now demanding his unconditional release, his wife was quoted as saying Monday.

“After 31 days of hunger strike, Ganji has a very good morale and wishes to continue his action,” Massoumeh Shafiie told the semi-official ILNA news agency after meeting her husband in Tehran’s Evin prison.

“He is demanding his unconditional release and believes the only way to secure this is by continuing his hunger strike. He says he will only eat when he is unconditionally freed,” she added.

Ganji was sentenced in 2001 to six years behind bars over articles he wrote linking senior regime officials, including ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and former intelligence minister Ali Fallahian, to the serial murders of several intellectuals and writers.

He was re-imprisoned on June 11 after being granted a short period of leave on medical grounds, and since then has been on a hunger strike — only drinking water and munching on sugar lumps.

The strike was initially launched as a protest after Ganji, who says he suffers from chronic asthma, was not allowed to seek further medical treatment outside prison.

Shafiie said last week she had written to humanitarian organisations and to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan about her husband’s condition.

There have been widespread calls for his release, including from the United States — which has praised his “courageous efforts to investigate extra-judicial killings by Iranian security forces and his commitment to free speech and democratic government”.

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