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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 September 2005, 16:40 GMT 17:40 UK
Iran dissident sent back to jail
Akbar Ganji (left) and a picture purported to be of him in jail
Akbar Ganji began his hunger strike in June
Iranian dissident journalist Akbar Ganji has been sent back to jail after leaving hospital, where he was recovering from a hunger strike.

Iran's Justice Minister Jamal Karimirad said Ganji was well enough to return to jail, state news agency Irna reports.

Ganji began fasting in June to protest at his imprisonment. In July, he went to hospital as his health worsened.

He was jailed in 2000 for writing a series of articles linking top Iranian officials to the murder of dissidents.

"Akbar Ganji was released from hospital yesterday and returned to the prison," Mr Karimirad said on Sunday.

An Iranian prison official quoted by the country's student news agency, ISNA, said Ganji was back in Tehran's Evin prison to serve out the remainder of his sentence - a period of roughly one year.


Ganji ended his hunger strike last month while he was in hospital.

His wife, Massoumeh Shafie, told the BBC her husband ended his fast after receiving assurances that he would not be sent back to jail.

She accused the Iranian authorities of betraying him.

Ganji's lawyer, the Nobel prize-winner Shirin Ebadi, is quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying her client's release is long overdue.

He has already served almost all his six-year term and ought to have received parole, she said.

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