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Jailed pollster Abbas Abdi threatens to go on hunger strike: press

According to reports by IRNA from Tehran, Abbas Abdi, a leading journalist who is held in connection with a controversial polling which claimed most Iranians favored normal ties with US, has threatened to go on hunger strike if he is transferred to the solitary confinement, the Iranian press on Wednesday cited his daughter Maryam as saying.

The Persian daily Yas-e No further cited her as saying that she had not visited her father, who is suffering from a sore leg, at the prison for more than two weeks.

"Since imprisonment, my father has met only once with a physician and he has not been given any medical examination for the past three months," Maryam said, the paper added.

"I have not visited my father for the past 15 days but Mr. Saleh Nikbakht (Abdi's lawyer) met with my father two days before," it quoted her as saying further.

A Tehran court last month sentenced Abdi to eight years in prison for "propagating against the Islamic Republic" and "selling intelligence to foreigners".

Abdi, who was a student leader in the 1979 takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran, is a member of the mainstream Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF).

He was arrested last year along with another suspect in the case, Hossein Qazian, who was sentenced to a nine-year imprisonment on similar charges. Both worked at the Ayandeh research institute.

Another suspect in the case is Behrouz Geranpayeh, the head of the National Institute for Research and Opinion Polls, who has been released on bail, pending a verdict.

Geranpayeh has been charged with "publishing false and poisonous information" as well as "selling information to foreigners".

The court has accused the defendants of carrying out the research on the order of the Washington-based Gallup Organization.

... Payvand News - 3/12/03 ... --

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