The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 12, 2005

Statement on a Call for the Unconditional Releases of Akbar Ganji in Iran

Akbar Ganji, an Iranian journalist who since 1999 has been routinely sentenced to prison by the Iranian government for advocating free speech, is again in jail because of his political views. Through his now month-long hunger strike, Mr. Ganji is demonstrating that he is willing to die for his right to express his opinion. President Bush is saddened by recent reports that Mr. Ganji's health has been failing and deeply concerned that the Iranian government has denied him access to his family, medical treatment, and legal representation. Mr. Ganji is sadly only one victim of a wave of repression and human rights violations engaged in by the Iranian regime. His calls for freedom deserve to be heard. His valiant efforts should not go in vain. The President calls on all supporters of human rights and freedom, and the United Nations, to take up Ganji's case and the overall human rights situation in Iran. The President also calls on the Government of Iran to release Mr. Ganji immediately and unconditionally and to allow him access to medical assistance. Mr. Ganji, please know that as you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you.

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