IRAN - Ailing journalist put in solitary confinement instead of being transferred to hospital



    MONTREAL, Aug. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders today voiced
active concern about the treatment of journalist and human rights activist
Emadoldin Baghi who earlier this month was placed in an isolation cell in Evin
prison, Tehran instead of being transferred to hospital.
    Baghi was at the start of 2008 released on licence because of a heart
condition but was recalled to jail in April against the advice of doctors.
While free, he wrote to the head of the judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi
Shahrudi, to complain of the appalling prison conditions in the notorious Evin
jail.
    "Emadoldin Baghi is paying the price for his outspokenness," the
worldwide press freedom organisation said. "He has frequently criticised the
regime's officials, some of whom have been appointed to top level positions,
such as intelligence minister, Mohseni Ejehi and the prosecutor general Dori
Najafabadi."
    "He is being discriminated against when his poor health means he should
be treated in hospital", it added.
    Baghi contacted his wife, Fatemeh Kamali Ahmad Sarahi, on 9 August to
inform her that the prison doctor had authorised his transfer to a hospital in
Tehran for further treatment. A few hours later the journalist called her
again to say that he had been admitted to Section 209 of the jail, a special
wing under the control of the intelligence services.
    When his wife was allowed to see him on 18 August, he appeared weakened
and complained to her of breathing difficulties as a result of being locked in
an insalubrious cell. Baghi also told her that he had refused to undergo any
further interrogation. "He will no longer put up with being questioned bound
and blindfolded", she told Reporters Without Borders.
    In another case, freelance journalist Saman Rasulpur, 23, was released on
14 August on payment of bail of ten million (about 7,000 euros), while
awaiting his trial. He was arrested on 27 July at his home in the city of
Mahabad in Kurdistan, for taking part in a demonstration in protest at death
sentences passed against journalists Adnan Hassanpur and Abdolvahed "Hiva"
Botimar as well as a Kurdish teacher. Since his release, Rasulpur has been
summoned on several occasions by intelligence ministry agents.




For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, Executive Director,
Reporters Without Borders Canada, (514) 521-4111, rsfcanada@rsf.org

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