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Iranian Nobel Laureate Urges Dissident To End Hunger Strike

Shirin Ebadi (file photo) 7 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Iranian human rights lawyer and 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi today urged dissident journalist Akbar Ganji to end his 58-day hunger strike in protest over his imprisonment.

Ebadi expressed deep concern about Ganji's state of health. The 46-year-old journalist, an outspoken critic of Iran's clerical leadership, has been detained since 2000 for articles alleging intelligence officials were responsible for the deaths of five Iranian dissidents.

He was transferred from a prison to a Tehran hospital last month as his condition worsened. Ebadi and Ganji's wife have both been refused access to Ganji for more than a week.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi today rejected a request from the European Union to release Ganji.

The spokesman said Iran does not allow foreign envoys to intervene in its internal affairs.


See also:

Concern Grows Over Fate Of Jailed Journalist