Iran General NewsIran reporter back in jail after going missing

Iran reporter back in jail after going missing

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Reuters: An Iranian investigative journalist, jailed for linking officials to political murders, was back behind bars on
Saturday and resuming a hunger strike after vanishing for three days. Akbar Ganji was granted home leave last month to have medical checks for asthma and back pains. Iranian authorities said he should have been back in jail on Wednesday but had given them the slip. On Saturday, Ganji returned alone to Tehran’s Evin prison, clutching a hold-all and a bag of medicines. Reuters

TEHRAN – An Iranian investigative journalist, jailed for linking officials to political murders, was back behind bars on Saturday and resuming a hunger strike after vanishing for three days.

Akbar Ganji was granted home leave last month to have medical checks for asthma and back pains.

Iranian authorities said he should have been back in jail on Wednesday but had given them the slip.

On Saturday, Ganji returned alone to Tehran’s Evin prison, clutching a hold-all and a bag of medicines.

“Now that I have gone back to prison, I will resume my hunger strike,” he told reporters. “All political prisoners must be freed.”

He was jailed in 2001 after publishing articles implicating top officials to the murder of political dissidents.

Human rights’ lawyer Mohammad Saifzadeh said Tehran’s prosecutor had turned down an extension to Ganji’s home leave.

“But the reason he did not show up for three days was to protest at the way agents raided his home,” he told Reuters.

Ganji’s wife Massoumeh Shafii, waiting at the prison, said she had no idea where her husband had been for the last three days but thought he was in good spirits.

“When they put pressure on him, he automatically picks up self-confidence,” she added.

Iran has a dismal record on press freedoms, closing down more than 100 liberal publications and jailing several journalists in a concerted crackdown on reformist media since 2000.

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