International PEN welcomes the overturned death sentence of Iranian Kurdish journalist, writer and human rights activist Adnan Hassanpour. However, PEN remains deeply concerned about his retrial on charges of “working for outlawed parties” and “espionage,” for which he could face up to 20 years in prison. PEN considers Hassanpour to be detained solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to free expression, as guaranteed under Article 19 of the United Nations International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a signatory, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.

Background Information

According to PEN's information, Adnan Hassanpour, a journalist and advocate of cultural rights for Iranian Kurds, was arrested on January 25, 2007, and was initially convicted of being a “mohareb” (enemy of God) and “acting against national security,” apparently for expressing his views on Kurdish issues. He was sentenced to death on July 16, 2007, and his sentence was upheld on appeal by the Supreme Court on October 22, 2007. On September 4, 2008, his death sentence was overturned by the Tehran Supreme Court on procedural grounds, and his case was sent back to the lower court in Sanandaj, Iranian Kurdistan. A new trial was due to open on September 6, 2008 on charges of “working for outlawed parties” and “espionage,” which carry up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.

Adnan Hassanpour is a former member of the editorial board of the Kurdish-Persian weekly journal Aso (Horizon), which was closed by the Iranian authorities in August 2005 following widespread unrest in Kurdish areas. He had previously been tried in connection with articles published in the journal. He is a member of the Kurdish Writer’s Association.

Write A Letter

  • Welcoming the overturning of the death sentence against journalist Adnan Hassanpour;
  • Expressing outrage at his re-trial, and fears that he is being held in violation of Article 19 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
  • Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Adnan Hassanpour and of all journalists and writers detained in Iranian Kurdistan solely for the peaceful expression of their views.


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
His Excellency
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: via Judiciary website:

Minister of Intelligence
Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie
Ministry of Intelligence,
Second Negarestan Street,
Pasdaran Avenue,
Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: [email protected]

His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency,
Palestine Avenue,
Azerbaijan Intersection,
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.