Iran confirms death of blogger in custody

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DUBAI — Iranian authorities have confirmed the death of a social media activist jailed on security charges, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported on Sunday, after Western rights groups said he had died following a 60-day hunger strike in prison.

"The political prisoner Vahid Sayyadi Nasiri, on hunger strike since Oct. 13, 2018 to protest the denial of his right to counsel and inhumane prison conditions..., has died at the Shahid Beheshti Hospital in Qom," the US-based Center for Human Rights in Iran said on its website.

ISNA quoted an unidentified source as saying Nasiri had been jailed twice for belonging to a group and planning acts of sabotage including an explosion. He had been taken from prison to a hospital where he died due to a liver disease on Dec. 12, the source said, without referring to a hunger strike.

In November, Reporters Without Borders said Iran had launched a new crackdown on journalists in which several had been questioned and three arrested in connection with social network posts. — Reuters


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