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Denial of justice continues for hunger-striking journalist Akbar Ganji

(RSF/IFEX) - With no sign of improvement in the health of hunger-striking journalist Akbar Ganji since his transfer to hospital, RSF has voiced outrage over the behaviour of the judicial authorities and held them responsible for his slow drift towards death.

"Ganji has been on hunger strike for 44 days and has lost two more kilos since his transfer to hospital on 17 July," the organisation said. "We are also very worried by Tehran state prosecutor Said Mortazavi's insistence that he undergo an operation requiring a general anaesthetic, as the general medical view is that his state of health does not allow [for] this [treatment]."

Reached by telephone, Ganji's wife told RSF that she had written to the head of the Iranian judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi, requesting Mortazavi's removal from the case, the appointment of someone to prepare a detailed report on her husband's state of health, and permission for Ganji to be visited by three friends who have been negotiating with the authorities. She ended the letter by saying she held Shahrudi fully responsible for her husband's case.

Ganji's lawyer, 2003 Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi, has not been allowed to visit her client. She recently told Agence France-Presse she had "serious concerns" about his state of health.

In a letter posted on several Iranian websites on the day of his transfer to Milad hospital, north of Tehran, on 17 July 2005, Ganji said he had been threatened by Mortazavi, who told him he was being taken to hospital "to put an end to the international pressure" and so that no one would be able to blame his death on the judicial authorities.

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