Iran Human RightsHuman rights activist, jailed in Iran, is transferred to...

Human rights activist, jailed in Iran, is transferred to hospital

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New York Times: A prominent human rights activist who has been jailed since October was transferred to a hospital Wednesday, according to his wife and the news agency ISNA. The New York Times

By NAZILA FATHI
Published: December 27, 2007

TEHRAN — A prominent human rights activist who has been jailed since October was transferred to a hospital Wednesday, according to his wife and the news agency ISNA.

The man, Emadedin Baghi, a reformist journalist who is in jail for the second time, was taken from the notorious Evin prison to a hospital in Tehran. His wife, Fatimeh Kamali, said in a telephone interview Wednesday that her husband had called her in the morning from prison and sounded as if he was barely conscious.

She said he could barely speak and kept repeating himself, but she was able to understand that he said he would have died had a prison official not recently found him. He also asked for his lawyer.

ISNA quoted the general director of prisons in Tehran Province, Sohrab Soleimani, as saying that Mr. Baghi was taken to a hospital but was expected to return to prison Wednesday evening. He did not provide any further information.

Mr. Baghi’s lawyer, Saleh Nikbakht, had traveled to the prison to meet with him in the morning before the phone call but was turned away by prison officials who said Mr. Baghi was being interrogated, Ms. Kamali said.

After the phone call, Ms. Kamali said she and Mr. Nikbakht rushed to the prison, where they saw an ambulance go in and quickly leave.

Although she and Mr. Nikbakht spent the rest of the day trying to get permission from judiciary officials to see Mr. Baghi, they never got approval, Ms. Kamali said.

Mr. Baghi was jailed in October, when he was summoned to appear before a court to answer accusations related to a nongovernmental organization he founded to fight for prisoner rights, his Web site says.

Prior to the October court date, he had received a one-year jail term for a speech he made in 2004 and a three-year suspended sentence on charges of acting against national security.

Mr. Baghi was in jail from 2000 to 2003 for making allegations about the role government officials played in the assassination of intellectuals in the late 1990s.

Ms. Kamali said Wednesday that prison officials had promised that her husband would call her back Wednesday, but she said he had not called as of late Wednesday evening.

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