Prominent Iranian journalist and dissident Akbar Ganji was today declared a World Press Freedom Hero by the International Press Institute for his courageous journalistic work in Iran.
Ganji spent six years in prison in Iran for a 1999 series of articles on the government's ties to the systematic assassinations of intellectuals and dissidents in the 1980s and the '90s.
Ganji continued to write while in prison, and his best-selling book "The Dungeon of Ghosts" is credited with helping defeat of a number of conservative candidates in the 2000 elections.
He was released in 2006 and immediately left the country.
His first book in English, "The Road to Democracy in Iran," was published in 2008.