11-Year Sentence Upheld for Kurdish Journalist
International PEN strongly protests the decision of the Tehran Appeal Court to uphold the 11-year prison sentence handed down to Kurdish journalist Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand on October 23, 2008. Four months earlier, the Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced Kabudvand on charges of “acting against national security.” PEN considers the continued detention of Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand to be in violation of international standards guaranteeing freedom of expression and calls for his immediate release in accordance to Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory.
According to PEN’s information, Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand, editor of the banned weekly Payam-e mardom-e Kurdestan and Chair of the Tehran-based Kurdish Human Rights Organization (RMMK), was arrested on July 1, 2007 at his place of work in Tehran by plainclothes security officers. Following his arrest, Kabudvand was initially taken to his house in Tehran, where security officers confiscated three computers, books, photographs and personal documents before taking him away to the Intelligence Ministry’s Section 209 of Evin Prison. He spent the first five months of his detention in solitary confinement, and was reportedly ill-treated. His family was unable to raise the bail that could have enabled him to be freed pending trial. Kabudvand’s trial began on May 25, 2008. On 22 June 2008, Kabudvand was sentenced at a closed trial to 11 years in prison by the Tehran Revolutionary Court on charges of “acting against national security” for forming a human rights organization in Iran’s Kurdish region.
Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand suffers from a number of health complaints, including high blood pressure and kidney disease, and his health has reportedly deteriorated as a result of ill-treatment in prison. On May 19, 2008, Kabudvand reportedly suffered a stroke in Evin prison and has been denied access to adequate medical care. He has not been allowed to receive medical attention outside the prison.
Kabudvand has reportedly written two books on democracy and a third on the women’s movement in Iran, which were not given publishing licenses. He is one of the featured cases for the Day of the Imprisoned Writer—November 15, 2008.
Write A Letter
- Protesting the 11-year prison sentence handed to journalist and writer Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand;
- Expressing serious concern for Kabudvand’s health and the denied access to necessary medical care;
- Calling for his immediate and unconditional release on humanitarian grounds and in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory.
Send Your Letter To
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]
Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: via Judiciary web site: Iranjudiciary.org/feedback_en.html
President H.E. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: Via Foreign Ministry: +98 21 6 674 790
(mark: "Please forward to H.E. President Ahmadinejad")
Email: [email protected]
Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for Iran in your country if possible.
Please check with PEN if sending appeals after December 4, 2008: ftw [at] pen.org