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Jailed Iranian Journalist's Health Declining; Legal Troubles Worsening


The head of Iran's hard-line judiciary says imprisoned journalist Akbar Ganji has further complicated his legal situation because of recent comments he made.

Judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi told the Iranian student news agency, ISNA, that some of the journalist's words can be considered criminal.

While on a recent leave from prison, Mr. Ganji published a letter critical of the government. He is now in a Tehran hospital, where his family says his health is rapidly deteriorating because he has been on a hunger strike for 50 days.

Iran's Association of Journalists has called for a one-day hunger strike in support of Mr. Ganji, who has been imprisoned since 2001 for publishing articles implicating government officials in the killings of prominent dissidents.

Meanwhile, authorities have issued an arrest warrant for one of his attorneys, Abdol Fateh Soltani, and have seized documents during a search of the lawyer's home.

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