Akbar Ganji, Iran

An investigative journalist who is currently in prison for taking on the Iranian leadership for its involvement in the operation of death squads. His work has been published in Tehran newspapers Sobh-e-Emrouz, Fath and Asr-e-Azadegan, all three of which were banned in 2000. Ganji is a former functionary of the Revolutionary Guards and was a street activist during Ayatollah Khomeini's Islamic revolution in Iran. The complaints about his work were brought forward by the joint chiefs of staff of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and other security agencies. The death squads are alleged to be responsible for the murders of dozens of intellectuals, organized crime figures and people who were thought to know too much. His imprisonment came at a time when the regime shut down some 30 publications.