12 July 2005

 

White House Condemns Jailing of Iranian Journalist Akbar Ganji

Bush calls on Iran to release Ganji, provide him medical attention

The United States deplores the continued detention of Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji, who is being held in prison without access to his family, medical attention or legal representation as punishment for his activities in support of free speech in Iran, according to a White House statement issued July 12.  The statement called on the Iranian government to release Ganji immediately and ensure that he receives medical attention.

The statement said Ganji is only one example of the Iranian regime’s widespread repression and human rights violations. 

“The President calls on all supporters of human rights and freedom, and the United Nations, to take up Ganji's case and the overall human rights situation in Iran,” the statement said.

Following is the text of the statement:

(begin text)

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
July 12, 2005

STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY

A Call for the Unconditional Release of Akbar Ganji in Iran

Akbar Ganji, an Iranian journalist who since 1999 has been routinely sentenced to prison by the Iranian government for advocating free speech, is again in jail because of his political views.  Through his now month-long hunger strike, Mr. Ganji is demonstrating that he is willing to die for his right to express his opinion.  President Bush is saddened by recent reports that Mr. Ganji's health has been failing and deeply concerned that the Iranian government has denied him access to his family, medical treatment, and legal representation.

Mr. Ganji is sadly only one victim of a wave of repression and human rights violations engaged in by the Iranian regime.  His calls for freedom deserve to be heard. His valiant efforts should not go in vain.  The President calls on all supporters of human rights and freedom, and the United Nations, to take up Ganji's case and the overall human rights situation in Iran.  The President also calls on the Government of Iran to release Mr. Ganji immediately and unconditionally and to allow him access to medical assistance.

Mr. Ganji, please know that as you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)




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