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Suffering from heart problems, jailed journalist Emadoldin Baghi hospitalised

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders has called for the definitive release of journalist and human rights activist Emadoldin Baghi who experienced heart trouble in his cell on 7 May 2008 at Tehran's Evin prison, after being returned there on 15 April following a temporary release for health reasons.

"We urge the Iranian authorities to act now to avoid putting the journalist's life at risk," the worldwide press freedom organisation said. "He is suffering because of his prison conditions and we will hold them responsible if anything happens to him."

Baghi, 45, who suffers from heart problems, was hospitalised in Tehran on 7 May, but was returned to Evin jail the same evening. Earlier in the day, he had been brought before the 12th chamber of the capital's revolutionary court in connection with a 2005 case against him after he used the media to criticise the behaviour of the prison authorities.

On his return to Evin jail, the journalist realised that his books, articles and papers had been seized in his absence. Prison guards had also confiscated the defence he had prepared for legal proceedings against him. Baghi had been summoned to appear before courts five times in the past five months.

His wife, Fatemeh Kamali Ahmad Sarahi, told Reporters Without Borders that she was very worried about his health. "His doctors have told me that these recurrent illnesses should be taken very seriously," she said.
Baghi was on 10 April 2008 named foreign journalist of the year at the British Press Awards. In 2005, he was awarded France's human rights prize for his campaign to abolish the death penalty in Iran.

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