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August 2, 2005

In solidarity with the jailed Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji

Action date: Wednesday, August 3, 2005
Call for Ganji's immediate and unconditional release 

Mr. Akbar Ganji, a prisoner of conscience in Iran since 2000, began a second hunger strike on June 11, 2005, protesting his continued detention for peaceful investigative journalism and public-expression of views. In addition to Ganji's unwarranted imprisonment and his periodic mistreatment in prison, he suffers severe respiratory problems. On July 17, Ganji was transferred to a hospital, where he has been placed under quarantine and prevented from regular access to his family and legal representatives, the latter restriction in violation of Iranian law.

In protest, Ganji has continued his hunger strike. To deflect responsibility for his potential imminent death under arrest, and also to intimidate his lawyers, Iranian authorities have even launched a disinformation campaign, accusing one of Mr. Ganji's lawyers, the 2003 Nobel Laureate for Peace Ms. Shirin Ebadi, of orchestrating his hunger strike and disseminating false information about the state of his health. Another legal representative of Mr. Ganji, the human rights lawyer Mr. Abdolfattah Soltani was arrested on July 30, 2005.

Ganji, a renowned Iranian investigative journalist, has been under arrest since April 2000, following his return from a conference at the Heinrich Böll Institute in Berlin. He was sentenced in January 2001 and, after an appeal court overturned his initial sentence, he was once again tried and condemned in July 2001. He was ultimately sentenced to six years imprisonment on grounds of his journalistic exposé (in 2000) of the serial murders of 5 opposition intellectuals by members of the Iranian security forces in 1998 as well as for the views he had expressed at the Berlin conference.

Ganji remains a prisoner of conscience, serving a sentence for no more than his peaceful expression of views and journalistic activities. His case has been documented extensively by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, International PEN, and International Freedom of Expression Exchange, among numerous other independent international organizations.

Ganji suffers serious medical conditions (acute asthma and other respiratory ailments) and his health has fast deteriorated in recent weeks due to his treatment in prison, lack of adequate access to medical care, and his hunger strike in protest of his continued confinement and mistreatment.

As of today (August 1, 2005), Ganji has been on hunger strike for 52 days. His condition is extremely dire."Akbar Ganji is an Honorary Member of the Canadian, American, English, and Lichtenstein PEN Centers. He is a recipient of the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression 2000 International Press Freedom Award."

International Committee in Support of Akbar Ganji
(An open letter from the committee to Mr. Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the UN, signed by various independent, non-partisan, international organizations and hundreds of concerned journalists, academics, artists, writers, intellectuals, and defenders of human rights from around the world, appeared in the New York Times of July 28, 2005 (Thursday), on page A11.)

Recommended ACTION
In solidarity with Akbar Ganji and in demanding his immediate and unconditional release, the International Committee in Support of Akbar Ganji calls for peaceful worldwide call-in/fax/e-mailing campaign to coincide with other protest events on Wednesday (August 3, 2005), including a vigil to be held in front of the UN office in Tehran, Iran, led by Mr. Ganji's wife; the solidarity fast staged by Iranian journalists; and various other peaceful protests around the world.

We urge you to call/fax/e-mail Iranian authorities as well as Iranian embassies/consulates and UN offices in your country of residence, demanding the immediate and unconditional release of Akbar Ganji and other prisoners of conscience.

Below is a list of few sample phone/fax nos. and e-mail addresses (the most current we could find). Please look up other phone/fax nos. and e-mail addresses in your country of residence (and make sure the embassies/consulate nos. below are still in service).

We ask that you to refrain from using discourteous tone in your communications with various authorities and avoid exploiting Ganji's plight for any self-serving, partisan political end. The Objective of this campaign is to
"Free Akbar Ganji," and not the promotion of particular political agendas.

                Thank you in advance for your support,
                International Committee in Support of Ganji


Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Faxes: (+ 98 21) 6649-5880 / 7774-2228 (ask fax to be forwarded to Ayatollah Khamenei)
Email: webmaster@wilayah or

Hojjatoleslam Sayed Mohammad Khatami
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: (+ 98 21) 6649-588

Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi, Ministry of Justice
Fax: (+ 98 21) 8879-6671 / 6640-4018 or 4019
Email: (Public Relations Dept.) or (Public Relations Director)

Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
President elect of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Phone: (+ 98 21) 8832-3233~8

Majlis Shura Islami (Islamic Republic of Iran Consultative Assembly)
Phone:  (+ 98 21) 8895-4330
Fax : (+ 98 21) 8896-7161

Mr Mohammad Hassan Zia'i-Far
Secretary, Islamic Human Rights Commission
Fax: (+ 98 21) 2204 0541

Mr. Kamal Kharrazi
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Fax: (+ 98 21) 3390 1999 (number may be unreliable)

The Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
(New York, US)
Telephone: (212) 687-2020
Fax: (212) 867-7086

Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Austria
Tel: (00431) 7122657 
Fax: (00431) 7135733

Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Canada
Fax: (613) 232-5712
Tel (consulate): (613) 233-4726
Fax (consulate): (613) 236-4726

Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Germany
Tel: 030 - 84 353-0
Fax: 030 - 84 353 - 535

Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hungary

Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan
Phone: (03)3446-8011~15
Fax: (03)3446-9002

Embassy Of The Islamic Republic Of Iran, Norway
Phone: (+47) 23 27 29 60
Fax:     (+47) 22 55 49 19
E-mail (General information):
E-mail (Ambassador):
E-mail (Political Section):

Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, United Kingdom
Phone: (+44)2072253000
Fax: (+44)2075894440

Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran, United States
Tel: (202) 965-4990 (or /91 /92 /93 /94 /99)
Fax: (202) 965-1073

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