Thursday, September 01, 2005

Ganji Update

In what supporters say is a victory for the Democratic movement in Iran Akbar Ganji has broken his hunger strike after 71 days following pleas from his family and promises that he will soon be released. According to Akbar Atri a spokesman for the student organization that has supported Mr. Ganji's campaign:
We are very happy that Akbar Ganji has broken his hunger strike because he is a symbol of our democracy movement in Iran against Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Islamic Republic.
Mr. Atri said yesterday that as a figure fighting for democracy in Iran, Mr. Ganji was significant because he was "able to change the dynamic of the discussion on the international stage. For this summer, the world talked to Iran about something other than nuclear energy. Human rights, political prisoners, terrorism, support for democracy should be the new demands and issues for the West and the international community."
Others have taken up the cause. Manouchehr Mohammadi, secretary general of the National Association of Iranian Students, is on day 52 of his hunger strike. He was jailed for traveling to Turkey and to the United States in the autumn and winter of 1998, "with the help of the counter-revolution and of the so-called human rights circles". Human rights are anti-Islamic according to the Mullahs and therefore counter to the Islamic revolution. Some Kurdish journalists recently arrested in late August are also reported to be on a hunger strike. Lest we forget the dangers of being a journalist in Iran I will remind everyone of Zahra Kazemi who was raped, tortured and then murdered by the Mullahs for taking photographs of protesters. The pressure exerted by the MSM, the Blogosphere and world leaders are having an effect and should not let up because of Ganji’s release, if it should happen. Rather we should be emboldened and double our efforts to support the Democratic majority that exist in Iran.

Update to the update 9/2/05: DoctorZin reports that maybe he wont be released.

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