Skip to comments.Iranian Alert - August 2, 2005 - Ganji's Wife Appeals to the World
Posted on 08/02/2005 6:20:51 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
Top News Story
Ganji's Wife Appeals to the World
BY ELI LAKE - Staff Reporter of the Sun
August 2, 2005
WASHINGTON - Defying warnings from the Iranian regime ordering her not to talk to foreign reporters, the wife of dissident journalist Akbar Ganji yesterday told The New York Sun that she has had no choice but to appeal to the international community to save the life of her husband, who today enters Day 53 of a hunger strike. Meanwhile in New York, a spokesman for Secretary-General Annan says his boss has personally intervened with the mullahs on Mr. Ganji's behalf.
In an exclusive telephone interview yesterday, Massoumeh Shafieh said: "We are appealing to the United Nations, human rights groups, and other nations to pressure our government to release my husband. Our struggle must reach out past the borders of Iran now. Our leaders will not listen to their people, they will only respond to external pressure."
Ms. Shafieh said she saw her husband yesterday at Tehran's Milad Hospital and said his health was deteriorating. Mr. Ganji was rushed on July 18 to Milad from Evin Prison, where he had been held since June 11. He was rearrested last month for urging his countrymen to boycott Iran's recent presidential elections after having been temporarily released to seek medical attention for his asthma; the writer deemed fraudulent June's political race, the results of which will bring hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad into office on August 6. Mr. Ganji was originally arrested for publishing a series of articles that accused regime leaders of ordering a chain of murders of dissident intellectuals in the late 1990s, and his struggle and hunger strike have made him a hero of Iran's democratic movement.
At one point during Ms. Shafieh's visit to the hospital yesterday, she said, Mr. Ganji tried to stand up after armed guards cursed him only to collapse on the floor from the debilitating effects of his hunger strike that begain on June 11, the day he was most recently taken into custody.
"When he was on the floor, the guards photographed him. It was humiliating," she said. "I was crying so much when I saw him."
Ms. Shafieh confirmed for the Sun the authenticity of Mr. Ganji's recent open letters, including one to a dissident cleric, Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri, who has, like Mr. Ganji, called on the supreme leader to relinquish power or stand for election.
"Ganji is physically weak, but he is still mentally very strong," his wife said yesterday.
Nonetheless, she said she is now very worried about his health and treatment. "They are trying to break him," she said. Ms. Shafieh went on to say that in a private conversation, the prosecutor that ordered his arrest, Saeed Mortazavi, threatened Mr. Ganji's life at the hospital, where Mr. Mortazavi sent special armed guards to watch Mr. Ganji 24 hours a day.
"Mr. Mortazavi told my husband, 'If you die it will better for the regime. We will put you in a remote place, and in a week or two we will give the number of your tombstone where your family will mourn for you, but they will not mourn for you publicly. They may not arrange a funeral or proper burial but privately I will let them mourn you,'" she said yesterday.
Throughout the interview, Ms. Shafieh said her phone was tapped and the reception faded in and out where faint clicks could be heard in the background. But despite the surveillance, Ms. Shafieh was open in her criticism of the regime.
Ms. Shafieh's plea for international solidarity has attracted in the last six weeks calls for his unconditional release from President Bush, Natan Sharansky, Vaclav Havel, MIT linguist Noam Chomsky, and Bishop Desmond Tutu. Even European Union leaders, whose colleagues are currently negotiating with the Iranian government over its nuclear program, have demanded that Mr. Ganji be freed.
Despite eliciting support from leaders across the globe, until yesterday U.N. Secretary-General Annan had not made a statement on Mr. Ganji's detention. On July 13, Mr. Annan said he did know enough about the political prisoner's circumstances to speak about his case. His spokesman, Stephane Dujarric told the Sun yesterday, however, that "The secretary-general is fully aware of Mr. Ganji's case," adding that "A number of U.N. human rights experts have expressed their profound concern regarding Mr. Ganji's detention and, especially, the lack of medical attention."
Mr. Annan "has been using his good offices and has made direct representations with Iranian officials at a senior level regarding Mr. Ganji in an effort to resolve the situation," Mr. Dujarric said.
Ms. Shafieh said in yesterday's interview that she was unaware of any efforts on the part of the United Nations to raise the profile of Mr. Ganji's case. She said that she would be leading a demonstration on Wednesday in front of the U.N. mission in Tehran asking for support with members of an Iranian student organization, Tahkim Vahdat.
When asked for her reaction to a statement by a former Iranian president, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, calling for Mr. Ganji's release, she said she was unimpressed. Mr. Ganji's 1999 book, "The Red and the Gray Eminences" singles out Mr. Rafsanjani as one of the Iranian leaders who ordered the assassination of intellectuals.
"When Rafsanjani said this he was smelling danger. If anything happens, he will say he was innocent and tried to help so as not to be condemned," she said. "But if anything happens, it is too late for him or the others to say they are innocent and have not committed crimes. All of them, the whole entity, has committed crimes and now they are asking for his release."
Even as many Iranian leaders, including the outgoing president, Mohammed Khatemi, call for the release of Mr. Ganji, the political climate has worsened for Iranian dissidents. The Associated Press reported yesterday that Mr. Ganji's lawyer, Abdolfattah Soltani, has been arrested on espionage charges. Activists last night told the Sun that his whereabouts were unknown.
At the end of the interview last night, Ms. Shafieh said that she was asking for support for her husband not only because "he is the father of my two children," but also because "this is not just the cause of my husband, but the cause of our country now. I will continue this work for the memory of my husband, if, God forbid, anything happens."
- SMCCDI reported on the scattered clashes which took place, today, in the northwestern City of Sannandaj located in the Iranian province of Kurdistan.
- The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel has adjusted its estimates of when it believes Iran will have nuclear bombs saying that Iran will probably have a nuclear bomb by 2012, but could have the capability as early as 2008.
- Kenneth R. Timmerman, FrontPageMagazine.com published a transcript of Ken Timmerman's speech at David Horwitz's Wednesday Morning Club entitled: Iran: The Threat We Cannot Neglect. A must read for those who have not yet read his book.
- Post-Gazette discussed Debkafile's report that al-Qaida is shifting more than 1,000 of its operatives to Europe for terror offensives.
- Mosnews reported that Israel has asked Ukraine to demand that Iran return 12 long-range cruise missiles purchased during the tenure of the previous Ukrainian government.
- Roozonline reported that an Iranian Judicial official threatened Shirin Ebadi and Ganji's wife.
- Michael Ledeen, National Review discussed, can an atom bomb save the Iranian mullahs from democracy? A must read.
- Iranian blogger, Mansur Ahadi, Roozonline said it appears that because of imprisoned journalist Akbar Ganjis plight has gradually shifted to the apex of the political decision-making pyramid in Iran. ...his principal charge and sentence in both court trials lies in his insults of the Leader.
- Roozonline reported that while there is only a week left from the inauguration of the new Iranian president, there are plenty of events heralding the advent of policies that were forewarned by political observers and activists.
- Reuters reported that Iran said on Monday it had extended by one day its deadline for the European Union to submit proposals to solve a diplomatic impasse over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.
- Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting reported that the Islamic Republic of Iran will deliver a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency informing the UN watchdog about its partial resumption of peaceful nuclear work in Isfahan center.
- Business Finance News reported that Germany urged Iran not to take any "unilateral steps" on uranium enrichment.
- Iraqi blogger, Iraq The Model asks are we going to let them win? He argues the US needs to deal with Iran and Syria.
- Dan Darling, The Weekly Standard detailed the birth of the Kurdish terrorist organization, Ansar al-Islam.
- And finally, a photo from the Iranian Students News Agency of the terrorist leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, of Lebanon meeting with Iran's president-elect Ahmadinejad.
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"Oh my Grace..I've got no hiding place!
Oh my Grace..I've got no hiding place!.."
It's so sad to see such good people die,
knowing there is nothing that can be done
to stop it.
Is there any need to show further proof that
the thugs running Iran are no better than Saddams
goons who slaughtered the Shia and Kurds civilians
after the first Gulf War?
Maybe "Oil for Food" needs to dig a little deeper on Coffee Cup Annan.
A little background on Coffee Cup. He is a product of McAlester University in St Paul, Minnesota. Ultra lefty.
Sounds like this man cannot go on much longer. He is living on his own body, as it has to convert muscle into glucose etc..
He must be thin as a rail at this point.
His loss will be a huge set back for democratic movement inside of Iran
"His loss will be a huge set back for democratic movement inside of Iran."
But perhaps it will inspire those that want freedom to not give up despite the continued abuses they must face.
I'm with you pilot. I think his death at the
hands of the evil Mullahs and their dogs in
the secret police and the Basiji..will harden
the hearts and steel the will of the Iranian
people..to strike when opportunities present
themselves, and then fade back into the masses
with none for the Pigs of ther Snake Shah Khamenei
to strike back at, but *all* the people..creating
yet ever more Iranians that want to stab his eyes out.
"I'm with you pilot." Perhaps you meant to send post to F14 Pilot, and sent to me by mistake. But I agree with your statements. Have a good morning I gotta log off, been at it all day and time for bed time.
Yes, it was meant for F14 pilot in particular, but
for any others as well. :o)
Actually I wish he stays alive to be a wise leader of the future of his country!
He shouldn't die!
British ambassador to Iran Richard Dalton (L) arrives at a British Airways office in Tehran on August 2, 2005 following an explosion. An explosive device with a weak charge has gone off outside the offices of British Airways and British Petroleum in Tehran, without causing casualties.(AFP/Atta Kenare)
British Ambassador to Iran Richard Dalton, left, arrives to visit building housing the offices of British Airways after a blast in Tehran, on Tuesday Aug. 2, 2005. A small device placed in a Tehran building housing the offices of British Airways and British Petroleum exploded early Tuesday, but no injuries were caused, the British Embassy said. The device detonated at about 9:50 a.m.Tuesday, on the 10th floor of the Sayeh Building in the downtown district of the Iranian capital, said Mitra Behnan Mojtahedi, a public affairs officer at the embassy. Others in photo unidentified.(AP Photo/STR)
French members of Reporters sans frontiers protest in Paris against the imprisonment of Ganji
Coinciding with the inauguration of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Reporters Without Borders activists demonstrated outside the Iran Air office on the Champs Elysées in Paris today in protest against the imprisonment of Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji, distributing leaflets and affixing posters with Ganji's photo to the office's windows.
"Actually I wish he stays alive to be a wise leader of the future of his country! He shouldn't die!"
All things are in the hands of HIM that made all things.
One things for sure, as long as the 50 thugs role, Iran is not going to become secular again, and therefore no government it props up means much in the way of Iran moving away from theocratic government. No respones required this late in thread, obviously we all are basically atuned on same brain lengths.
You forgot that this guy was not elected, he was chosen by Supreme leader of the regime.
Give Iranians freedom of choice, and then they will get back to you with the most secular form of government known to mankind.
"I disagree! You forgot that this guy was not elected, he was chosen by Supreme leader of the regime. "
But we do agree. I said nothing on how Ahmadinejad was elected, only that the Mullah's arrange things as suits them.
The election was fixed as we all know. They had an election, err two. I don't see how we are in disagrement. So I did not forget he was in essence chosen by the Mullahs. That is understood by default in my original statement.
I understand but as I said, the people of Iran are thirsty for secularism.