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Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps chief General Mohammad Ali Jafari (right)
Iran's largest reform party has written an open letter to Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari accusing him of responsibility "for the oppression and catastrophes" following the disputed 2009 presidential election, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

The Islamic Iran Participation Front published the letter on the Norooz website on September 12 after a worsening in the condition of jailed top member Mohsen Safaie Farahani.

Safaei Farahani was arrested shortly after the June 2009 presidential election and released on bail after spending several months in jail. He was recalled to Evin prison after filing a complaint with six other reformists against the (IRGC) for its alleged "interference" in the presidential election.

Safaei Farahani's wife, Efat Khatibi, told RFE/RL on September 11 that her husband had a heart attack in Ward 350 of Tehran's notorious Evin prison but has been denied medical care.

Addressing the IRGC commander, the letter states that "now that Safaei Farahani has been deprived of even the most basic medical treatment, you should know that you are the first-rank authority responsible for all these oppressions and catastrophes and should be held accountable sooner or later."

The Islamic Iran Participation Front said the letter was addressed to Jafari because the military institution he commands has not only had the foremost role in Iran's postelection events, but is also currently the final decision maker about the prisoners detained in the course of Iran's Green Movement.

The Islamic Iran Participation Front is the dominant member of the 2nd of Khordad Movement, the reformist coalition in parliament that is made up of several progressive political parties.
Armed men have gunned down a local journalist in front of his office in northern Pakistan, RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal reports.

Misri Khan, president of the journalists association in Hangu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, was shot dead early today as he was entering the press club, eyewitness and co-journalist Salahuddin Orakzai told RFE/RL.

"Three armed men opened fire at Misri Khan as he reached the entrance of Hangu press club around 6:00 [a.m. local time]," Orakzai said.

He added that Khan died after being taken to a Hangu district hospital.

Osman Ghani, son of the slain journalist, said the family had no dispute or enmity with anyone in the area.

"As far as we know, the incident is the result of his reporting," Ghani said.

The killing was condemned by journalists in Peshawar, capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. The journalists also staged an angry protest demonstration urging the government to ensure the protection of journalists and arrest Khan's killers.

Speaking to RFE/RL, Syed Bukhar Shah Bacha, president of the Khyber Union of Journalists, condemned the killing and demanded the arrest of the culprits.

"As you know, our journalist colleagues are facing problems from both the warring sides although they perform their professional responsibilities," Bacha said. "Each of the two parties is accusing them of siding with the other. We ask for an investigation into the incident and punishment for those responsible."

According to the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 42 journalists, including two foreigners, have been killed in Pakistan since 1994, most of them from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province and the adjacent tribal areas of the country.

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


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