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Iran: Blogger Freed After 25-day Hunger Strike

Dr. Mehdi Khazali, a blogger, publisher and son of a leading conservative cleric and former Council of Guardians member, Ayatollah Khazali, was released on bail from prison on Sunday after a 25-day hunger strike. The blogger has raised his voice against the Iranian government for the last two years, and this was the third time he was arrested. Several Iranian bloggers have commented on his release, as well as on his hunger strike before then.

In his first post after being released, Khazali quoted the revered Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, saying: “A believer is stronger than Iron scrap and he can be killed, resurrected and killed again. All this will not change anything in his belief.”

Basiji Sabz writes [fa] of Khazali's release: “Praise God. Let's hope for other innocent prisoners, especially the Green movement's Mir Hussein Mousavi.

Khorshid Neshan says [fa]:

We do not know why Mehdi Khazali was arrested nor how they accepted his bail. He wrote a Hadit as his first post after being released. He should know that if he is in religious competition with the regime, he will be a loser. I wish he would keep his religious feelings and beliefs a personal matter.

Several bloggers worried about Mehdi Khazali's health when he was in jail and displayed their support in their posts.

Sedaye Azadi wrote [fa]:

Mehdi Khazali has been in the regime's prison for more than 20 days and he is on hunger strike. It proves he is on the people's side. Do you care about his hunger strike? Do you care about the Green Movement leaders, Mehid Karoubi and Mir Hussein Mousavi, who are under house arrest? If you do not care, there is no humanity in you… Do you ask why your child goes to prison for a water fight? Because there is no freedom. Why is there no freedom, because you do not fight for it.

MehrdadIrani wrote [fa] that Mehdi Khazali was transfered to Evin Prinson's 350 section and that his son witnessed his father being beaten up when he was arrested. Other witnesses say the blogger's neck was hurt during the arrest.

Charkh o Falk called on [fa] other bloggers to support Mehdi, and not to wait for his death. “An action by bloggers may force the regime to provide necessary conditions for Mehdi to end his hunger strike,” he said. He also said Khazali was asked to fetch items that had been confiscated by the authorities, but was then arrested for no reason.

Agahi ta Rahayi praises [fa] Mehdi Khazali's resistance and says it shows he is a man who keeps his word.

What else should happen for us to wake up? Some ask why Egypt could, while Iran failed [to unseat government] … Some say wait, a new dawn will come soon, but in the North Pole it can take 6 months for the morning to come.

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