Saturday, 20 August 2005


UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has called on Iran to free

imprisoned dissident journalist Akbar Ganji.
In a letter to Iran's president, Mr Annan demanded Ganji's
immediate release "on humanitarian grounds".

Ganji was jailed in 2000 for a series of reports
linking Iranian officials to the murders of dissidents.

He began a hunger strike in June, demanding to be freed. Tehran
says he resumed eating this week, but his wife says she cannot
confirm that.

Ganji's action has made him a rallying point for pro-reformists,
students and human rights activists, reports the BBC's
Pam O'Toole in Tehran.

Mr Annan's letter to the newly-elected Iranian President,
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, urges the journalist's "immediate
release", a UN official was quoted as saying by the Associated
Press news agency.

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