International PEN is greatly alarmed by the threat of rearrest of novelist Yaghoub Yadali. Sentenced on charges of “insult” in September 2007 to one year in prison, nine months of the term were suspended. However on February 24, 2008, an appeals court ordered him to serve the term in prison. PEN protests the sentence against Yadali for his fictional writings, and demands that all charges against him be dropped in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a signatory.

More information:

November 15, 2007: Day of the Imprisoned Writer

Background Information

Yaghoub Yadali was arrested on March 15, 2007, and detained for 41 days on charges of insult, libel, and publication of false information in two of his fictional works: his short-story collcetion Sketches in the Garden (Aasa Publications, Tehran, 1997) and parts of his novel Rituals of Restlessness (Niloufar Publications, Tehran, 2004). Both had been granted approval for publication from Iran’s Ministry of Guidance. An excerpt of Rituals of Restlessness, which features a rural Lor woman who is described as an immoral person, is quoted by the prosecutor in the indictment. Yadali is a member of the Lor ethnic minority and is an award-winning writer in the region.

Yadali was tried at a court in the city of Yasuj, capital of Kohgiluyeh in Boyer-Ahmad Province, southwestern Iran, on August 23, 2007. He was convicted and sentenced in September 2007 to a one-year imprisonment for "insulting in order to agitate the general public." Nine months of the sentence were suspended for two years, conditional on his writing four articles in local newspapers on Lor art and cultural personalities, published at his own expense. He could now be summoned to serve the remainder of his sentence.

Born in 1970, Yaghoub Yadali is a prominent writer, who has also worked as a television director, making documentaries and writing screenplays. In addition to the works for which he was sentenced, he has also published Probability of Merriment and Mooning (Nim-negah Publications, Shiraz, 2001), a collection of eight short stories for which he won the Press Critics Annual Prize in 2001, and many articles and cultural commentaries in newspapers and journals. Since his arrest, Yadali has been banned from publishing, and his books have been withdrawn from the market. He has also been dismissed from his job, and is now unemployed and without financial support.

Write A Letter

  • protesting the one-year sentence against writer Yaghoub Yadali and demanding that all charges against him be dropped in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a signatory
  • calling for a lift of the ban on his work.

Send Your Letter To

Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ˜Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street, Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh
Office of the Head of the Judiciary
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri
Tehran 1316814737
Islamic Republic of Iran
(Note in the subject line: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)
Salutation: Your Excellency

His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency
Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax via Foreign Ministry: +98 21 6 674 790
(Note: "Please forward to H.E. President Ahmadinejad")

Please send a copy of your appeal to the diplomatic representative for Iran in your country.

Please check with PEN if sending appeals after March 31, 2008.