Iranian dissident threatened at UN conference

Iranian dissident Ahmad Batebi said an Iranian official threatened to kill him when the two met in the hallway Monday outside the United Nations anti-racism conference. Batebi told The Jerusalem Post that the official spoke to him in Farsi and said to him, "You are not safe here. We are strong. We can kill you." Batebi, attending the conference as a journalist for Voice of America, said he was startled by the blatant threat although he did not believe that anything could happen to him in the UN building itself. As a photojournalism student at Teheran University he went to an anti-government demonstration in 1999. When police shot into the crowd and killed his friend, he instinctively held up his friend's bloody shirt for all to see. He was arrested and sentenced to 15 years in jail after The Economist placed a picture shot of him at that moment on their cover. He survived seven years in an Iranian jail and escaped in 2006 to the US.