29 June, 2005


U.S. Calls on Iran To Release Imprisoned Journalist Akbar Ganji

Ganji has investigated abuses by Iranian security forces

The United States has called on Iranian authorities to release Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji from prison, where he is being held, the State Department said, for his political views and peaceful activities in support of free speech and journalistic integrity.  Ganji is known for his efforts to uncover information on extra-judicial killings by Iranian security forces.

In a June 29 statement, the State Department expressed particular concern about recent reports that Ganji is in failing health and is being denied access to his family and legal representation.  The statement called Ganji’s mistreatment “a serious violation of fundamental human rights.”

Following is the text of the State Department statement:

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Office of the Spokesman
June 29, 2005


Imprisoned Iranian Journalist Akbar Ganji

The United States calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Akbar Ganji, an Iranian journalist and free speech advocate, who is currently imprisoned by Iranian authorities solely because of his political views and peaceful activities. We are increasingly concerned about Mr. Ganji's health and the conditions of his detention.

Mr. Ganji's courageous efforts to investigate extra-judicial killings by Iranian security forces and his commitment to free speech and democratic government have earned him the respect of many around the world. The United States is alarmed by recent reports that Mr. Ganji's health has been failing and that he has been denied access to family and legal representation.  His mistreatment in prison is a serious violation of fundamental human rights. Together with international human rights advocates and Mr. Ganji's many supporters in Iran, we call on the government of Iran to release Mr. Ganji and ensure that he receives all necessary medical assistance.

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

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