Iranian Dissident Hospitalized

The New York Sun reports that Iranian pro-democracy activist Akbar Ganji, who is thought to be near death as a result of his prolonged hunger strike, has been rushed to a hospital in Tehran. Ganji, who has served considerable time in the past for criticizing the Iranian mullahs, was recently re-imprisoned because he urged Iranians to boycott the presidential election. Ganji’s wife says that she expects him to refuse a reported offer from the Iranian government to release him from prison if he confesses his “guilt.” She was quoted in a reformist newspaper:

It is not to their advantage if something happens to Ganji. The minute Akbar Ganji dies, you will see what a revolution looks like here.

The Sun’s article concludes:

Yesterday Mr. Sazegara [an Iranian dissident now in the U.S.] said that Mr. Bush’s statements calling for freedom for Mr. Ganji were heard in Iran among the democratic opposition, but said they may not be enough. “We have an expression in Persian which you also have in English. Not a single hair on his head should be touched. That is what Mr. Bush should say about Ganji. Bush should make the consequences known to Iran if anything happens to Ganji.”


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