Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Bahman Nirumand is concerned about the most recent developments in the case of the dissident Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji. Ganji, like many of his generation, was an initial supporter of the Ayatollah Khomeni's Islamic state, founded 26 years ago, but became critical of its development. Following studies in sociology, he published a paper that addressed the relationship between Islam and the modern state and, after it was prohibited, worked as a freelance investigative journalist, uncovering stories of state murders of intellectuals and regime critics. In 2000 he was sentenced to six years imprisonment. Following a recent 36 day long hunger strike, Ganji was taken to Tehran hospital under – as Nirumand emphasises - very strange circumstances. "The fact that Ganji has been taken to hospital is no grounds for relief: neither his family nor his lawyers are being allowed to visit him and the whole division has been turned into a military zone. That the judge and the director of the Milad Hospital are claiming that Ganji's condition is completely stable and that there was no hunger strike is nothing short of absurd."
Read the article (German)


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