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Iranian Dissident Journalist To Receive Rights Award

Akbar Ganji during his 2005 hunger strike while in jail (official site) October 11, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Amnesty International said today that dissident Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji would be awarded the 2006 Martin Ennals Award For Human Rights Defenders today in Geneva.

The London-headquartered nongovernmental group says in a statement posted on its website that this year's second recipient will be Arnold Tsunga, a lawyer and radio commentator from Zimbabwe.

Both men will receive the award from UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Harbour.

Ganji spent six years in prison and recently toured Europe and the United States, where he has previously won numerous human rights awards. He has consistently rejected all forms of violence and advocated civil and peaceful resistance to the Iranian political leadership.

Ganji authored a book, "Dungeon Of Ghosts," in 2000 that implicated many leading conservative figures in the "chain murders" of Iranian writers and intellectuals in 1998. He was arrested after participating in the 2000 Berlin Conference, which led to repressions against those participating from Iran.