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Detained dissident in Iran suffering from diabetes

Sept. 13, Teheran (dpa) - Hassan Yussefi-Ashkevari, a detained dissident in Iran , is suffering from diabetes and should be released from jail for medical reasons, the students news agency ISNA reported Wednesday.

In a letter to the judiciary, the dissident's wife, Mohtaram Yussefi-Ashkevari, said her husband has had several attacks in prison during the night which temporarily even led to partial paralysis. She warned of dire consequences if he remained in prison without medical care, ISNA said.

Yussefi-Ashkevari, a cleric and reporter of the banned liberal weekly Iran -Farda (Tomorrow's Iran ), was detained last month in the notorious Evin prison and will remain jailed until the Special Clergy Court (SCC) looks into his case.

He is charged by the SCC with acting against national security, writing ``defamatory'' articles in domestic and foreign dailies against officials, launching a publicity campaign against the system, insulting Islamic sanctities and questioning some of Islam's rules.

Yussefi-Ashkevari was one of the participants at a controversial conference held in Berlin last April by Germany's Heinrich Boell Foundation which intended to introduce the new democratic image of Islamic Iran after the parliamentary elections in February. The meeting was disrupted by exile opposition forces.

The participants at the seminar, most of them renowned reformist figures, have been summoned by the revolutionary court on charges that they ``disgraced'' Iran in front of ``counter-revolutionaries'' and jailed but later released on bail, except Yussefi-Ashkevari and Akbar Ganji.

Following the Berlin conference, Yussefi-Ashkevari went into temporary exile in France. He gave several interviews to foreign media from Paris in which he firmly supported the reform course of President Mohammad Khatami.


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