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Prominent Iranian Dissident Appears Live on Roundtable With You

Akbar Ganji speaks out after five years in an Iranian prison

Tune in to VOA's Persian-language Roundtable With You (Mizegerdi ba Shoma) on Sunday, June 18 at 1730 UTC (1:30 p.m. Washington time) for a live interview with Akbar Ganji, Iran's best-known investigative journalist.

The Iranian government detained Ganji in 2000 for articles he wrote that implicated top Iranian officials in the deaths of Iranian dissidents in 1998. He was sentenced to six years in prison in 2001. Ganji went on a 40-day hunger strike in 2005 to demand his unconditional release-a move that was supported by the United States, the European Union, and international human rights organizations.

President George W. Bush addressed Ganji's case directly on July 31, 2004, when he said, "Mr. Ganji, please know that as you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you." In his statement, President Bush called 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."

Iranian authorities granted Akbar Ganji an early release from prison on March 18, 2006, and he received the World Association of Newspapers' Golden Pen of Freedom award in Moscow on June 5, 2006.

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