Iran: writer and journalist Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand released after 10-years of arbitrary detention

Join PEN in welcoming the news of Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand's release after almost a decade in prison


PEN warmly welcomes the news that prominent Iranian journalist and writer Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand was released on 12 May 2017. Kabudvand was serving a 10-year prison sentence on charges which PEN considered to be politically-motivated.

Kabudvand, an Honorary Member of Austrian PEN, PEN Català, Swedish PEN and Sydney PEN, was an editor of the banned weekly Payam-e mardom-e Kurdestan (Kurdistan People’s Message) and co-founder and former chair of the Tehran-based Kurdistan Human Rights Organization (RMMK).

Arrested on 1 July 2007 at his place of work in Tehran by plainclothes security officers, Kabudvand spent the first five months of his detention in solitary confinement and suffered ill-treatment. He was sentenced at a closed trial, on 22 June 2008, to 10 years in prison for ‘acting against national security’ by forming a human rights organisation in Iran’s Kurdish region and publicising alleged human rights abuses, and an extra year of imprisonment on charges of ‘spreading propaganda against the system by disseminating news’. On 23 October 2008, the Tehran Appeal Court upheld his conviction, but reduced the sentence to 10 years in prison.

Last year, on 8 May 2016, Kabudvand began a hunger strike in protest at his continued imprisonment and the possibility of new charges being brought against him. Kabudvand ended his hunger strike after the authorities decided not to pursue the new charges.

PEN welcomes Kabudvand’s long overdue release but continues to call for the release of the many other writers, journalists and publishers who are unfairly imprisoned in Iran – including poet Mahvash Sabet and journalist Narges Mohammadi – in violation of their right to freedom of expression and opinion.


Send letters of appeal

Please send appeals:

  • Welcoming the release of prominent Iranian journalist and writer Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand;
  • Calling on the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all writers, journalists and publishers who are held in violation of their right to freedom of expression and opinion;
  • Ensure that the right to freedom of expression in Iran is fully respected in law and practice as provided for under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a state party.

Appeals to:

Leader of the Islamic Republic
Grand Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street — End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Twitter: @khamenei_ir English-language account), @Khamenei_ar (Arabic-language), @Khamenei_es (Spanish-language account).

Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
c/o Public Relations Office
Number 4, Deadend of 1 Azizi – Vali Asr Street
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Hassan Rouhani
Pasteur Street, Pasteur Square
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Twitter: @HassanRouhani (English) and
@Rouhani_ir (Persian)

And copy to the Embassy of Iran in your country. You can find embassy addresses here.


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