[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 18 July, 2005, 10:45 GMT 11:45 UK
Iran hunger striker 'in hospital'
Akbar Ganji (left) and a picture purported to be of him in jail
The writer is said to have lost some 22kg since starting his protest
Jailed Iranian writer Akbar Ganji has been taken for hospital treatment, after more a month on hunger strike, his wife has told the BBC.

Massoumeh Shafieh said Mr Ganji was transferred late on Sunday, but she has not been allowed to visit him.

Mr Ganji was jailed over articles linking Iranian leaders with a series of political killings in the 1990s.

The US, EU and international human rights organisations have all called for his release.

BBC Tehran correspondent Frances Harrison says Mr Ganji has become a symbol of resistance for reformist politicians, students and activists in Iran.

Prison photos

Mrs Shafieh said she had been badly treated by police guarding her husband's hospital room where she waited for three hours before being pushed out.

She said she was worried because nobody told her why her husband had suddenly needed medical treatment.

"The fact that I am not authorised to see him is worrying me," she is quoted as saying.

Photographs have been circulating on the internet of an emaciated-looking Mr Ganji, which Mrs Shafieh says are genuine, although this has been disputed by hardline newspapers.

One hardline newspaper said nobody could take pictures inside a jail and alleged they had been doctored.

Mr Ganji was imprisoned for six years in 2001 but was granted temporary leave on 29 May for health grounds. He was imprisoned again two weeks later and has been on hunger strike ever since.

His wife claims the authorities have pledged never to release him unless he withdraws his accusations and apologises to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.

However, our correspondent says that while in jail he has criticised the unchecked powers of Ayatollah Khamenei - something that is both a taboo and a crime in Iran.

Iran MPs plan jailed writer visit
13 Jul 05 |  Middle East
Iran journalist returns to prison
11 Jun 05 |  Middle East
'Missing' Iran writer speaks out
10 Jun 05 |  Middle East
Country profile: Iran
31 Mar 05 |  Country profiles


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific