International PEN welcomes the release of leading journalist and human rights defender Emadeddin Baqi, upon expiry of his sentence. Baqi was sentenced to one year in prison in October 2007 for his critical writings and his activities as president of the Society for the Defence of Prisoners’ Rights, an organization he founded in 2003.

Background Information

According to PEN’s information, Emadeddin Baqi was provisionally released from Evin Prison on September 15, 2008 to undergo medical treatment, and days later, on October 20, he learned that he had been granted a definitive release on expiry of his sentence. While in Tehran’s Evin Prison, there were serious concerns for Baqi’s health, as he suffers from heart disease.

Emadeddin Baqi was arrested on October 14, 2007 at the Security Unit of the General and Revolutionary Public Prosecutor’s Office after he responded to a summons. While his family was posting bail, Evin prison authorities arrived at the courthouse and announced that Baqi was required to serve the one-year suspended sentence he was given in December 2003, and he was immediately transferred to prison. In November 2003, he had been charged with “endangering national security” and “publishing lies” for a series of articles published in the reformist press and his book The Tragedy of Democracy in Iran, implicating Iranian officials in the 1998 murders of a number of intellectuals and dissidents.

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Thank you to all who sent appeals on his behalf.