Tuesday, May 24, 2005
An urgent appeal by Shirin Ebadi, the 2003 Nobel Laureate on behalf of Akbar Ganji, the political prisoner on hunger strike in Tehran.May 24, 2005
I, Shirin Ebadi, defense attorney for Mr. Akbar Ganji would hereby announce that he has started a hunger strike at 7 pm on Thursday May 19, 2005.
Mr. Ganji has had suffered from asthma for a few years and anytime I have met him in the prison, I have noticed his serious symptoms of illness such as severe coughing. It has been quite a long time that his traditional medicine which generally has cortisone has lost any effect. I have asked Judicial authorities several times, on his behalf, to allow him to be seen and treated by outside physicians, but unfortunately these requests have been all rejected. His health is now deteriorating and hunger strike will further jeopardize Mr. Ganji’s life.
Since International Human Rights principles do not allow anyone to be deprived of freedom due to expression of ones belief, and as Akbar Ganji’s attorney and on his behalf I call upon all his colleagues, human rights advocates, and freedom seekers to write letters and e-mails and demand his release to be treated by physicians outside the prison.