Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Iran: Wife of jailed journalist says he received death threats -


Tehran, 29 Nov. (AKI) - The wife of jailed Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji has revealed that her husband's life has been threatened while in jail. "My husband, in our last visit, has revealed to me that he has received death threats," Massoumeh Shafii said. The Iranian dissident and writer has been in jail since 2000. "Ganji told me that some men of the prosecutor Saiid Mortazavi approached him with death threats saying that he coud easily be killed even if he were to be released after having served his sentence," said Shafii in a telephone interview with Adnkronos International (AKI). "Even if they will release you, our friends will attend to you outside of the prison to make sure you receive the same fate as Saiid Hajjarian," said the men, who according to Ganji work for the chief prosecutor of Tehran, Saiid Mortazavi . Saiid Hajjarian, an aide to former president, Mohammad Khatami, and a member of Teheran's city council, was the victim of an attack on 12 March 2000, which left him in a wheel chair. The men who carried out the attack were arrested, but were only sentenced to a few months in jail. In addition their alleged links to Mortazavi were never taken into consideration by the judiciary. Mortazavi is also considered a suspect by a parliamentary investigation into the 2003 death in custody of a Canadian photo-journalist of Iranian origin, Zahra Kazemi. Some weeks ago, Mortazavi, told Shafii, during a meeting also attended by a lawyer representing her and Ganji, Yousef Molaie, said that her husband would remain in jail, "until he retracts his position." "I was really shocked and seriously afraid for my husband's life," Shafii said. "I don't want to report this matter to the police again, seeing that the last time that I took action against Mortazavi for his threats, they put him in charge of examining my report about his actions.""By now, there isn't any choice but to bring this abuse of power to the attention of the international authorities and to the world's public opinion, and that which has happened to me, my husband and my two daughters," added Massoumeh Shafii. "Save my husband, don't allow such a voice of authority to be crushed under the weight of great violence and injustice," she said. The latest information about Akbar Ganji's health had increased concern for the fate of the dissident who is also referred to as the "Iranian Gandhi". Ganji weights only 50 kilograms and now suffers from asthma, hypertension and neutropenia (decrease of the blood cells)"Worrying symptons that could lead to death of the patient by cachessia [a severe loss of muscle mass]," said Daniela Zangrilli a medical professor in Rome's Tor Vegata university.
29-Nov-05 15:19


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