Cellmate of Jailed Iran Journalist Murdered in Prison
The cellmate of jailed Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji, who was imprisoned after alleging top officials were involved in several 1998 political murders, was killed in prison, papers said Saturday.
The man, a longtime criminal named Ali Kakoui, bled to death after another inmate stabbed him with a broken bottle Thursday because of his loud singing at night, the reformist Doran-e Emrouz daily said.
Ganji has repeatedly requested to be moved out of the cellblock for common criminals in Tehran's Evin prison, saying he did not feel safe. He has claimed he has been tortured while at Evin.
Ganji was jailed in April after linking the killings of several leading dissidents to former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani as well as former intelligence minister Ali Fallahian.
Secular nationalist leader Dariush Foruhar and his wife Parvaneh were found stabbed to death in their apartment in November 1998, followed within weeks by writers Majid Sharif, Mohammad Mokhtari and Mohammad Pouyandeh.
The three outspoken writers were well-known for their calls for greater freedom of expression in Islamic Iran, and the string of murders sparked widespread outrage and heightened political tension in the country.
Authorities in January 1999 announced that a network of "rogue" secret agents had carried out the murders but had done so without the knowledge of their superiors in the intelligence ministry.
The third hearing of the controversial trial began at Tehran's military court Saturday and is being held in camera for what the judiciary called "reasons of national security." -- TEHRAN (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)