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IFEX members have joined international demands for the release of jailed Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji, who was hospitalised on 18 July 2005 during a hunger strike that has lasted more than a month. He has reportedly lost 50 pounds.

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, PEN Canada, Human Rights Watch, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF) have expressed deep concern for the journalist's health. Ganji has been taken to Tehran's Milad Hospital.

He is serving a six-year jail sentence for writing articles for the reformist newspaper "Sobh-e Emrooz" that linked senior government officials to the 1998 killings of several dissidents and intellectuals. Ganji is seen as a leading dissident and journalist in Iran, a country RSF calls one of the most repressive for journalists.

International pressure has been building on Iran to release Ganji. The European Union and the United States have called for his immediate release, as have more than 100 journalists, writers, academics and Nobel laureates in the U.S. (

Five UN experts, including the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, Ambeyi Ligabo, have also expressed concern that Ganji be given "appropriate medical treatment."

- PEN Canada:
- Human Rights Watch Backgrounder on Iran:
- CPJ:
- RSF Report on Iran:
- UN Experts Show Concern:
- PBS Wide Angle on Iran's Reformist Press:
- Iran: Who Holds the Power?

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