June 5, 2008

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Shoahada Street
Islamic Republic of Iran

Head of the Judiciary
His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr
Islamic Republic of Iran

Minister of Intelligence
Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie
Ministry of Intelligence
Second Negarestan Street, Pasdaran Avenu
Islamic Republic of Iran

Your Excellencies,

On behalf of the 3,400 members of PEN American Center, an international organization of writers dedicated to protecting freedom of expression wherever it is threatened, we are writing to express our grave concern for the health of Iranian Kurdish journalist Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand, who reportedly suffered a stroke in Evin prison on May 19, 2008, and has been denied access to adequate medical care.

According to our information, Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand, editor of the banned weekly Payam-e mardom-e Kurdestan, was arrested on July 1, 2007, at his place of work by plainclothes security officers. He was taken to the Intelligence Ministry’s Section 209 of Evin Prison, where he has allegedly been ill-treated. He has had no contact with his family since his arrest and has been given no reason for the arrest.

PEN American Center is extremely alarmed by reports that Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand’s health has deteriorated and that he has been denied necessary medical care. We respectfully ask you to intervene to ensure that he receives medical treatment immediately. Further, because we believe Mr. Kabudvand is being held in violation of his right to freedom of expression under Article 19 of the United Nations International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), we entreat you to facilitate his immediate and unconditional release.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.

Hannah Pakula                  
Chair, Freedom to Write Committee    

Larry Siems
Director, Freedom to Write and International Programs

CC: President
His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency
Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection
Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax via Foreign Ministry: +98 21 6 674 790

Kurdistan Human Rights Organization
PO Box 188-13465
Islamic Republic of Iran
E-mail: prmmkkurd@gmail.com

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