Iran: Journalist Kabudvand’s Trial Opens Amid Health Concerns


English PEN is seriously concerned for the health of Iranian Kurdish journalist Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand, who reportedly suffered a stroke in Evin prison on 19 May 2008 and has been denied access to adequate medical care. He has been held since 1 July 200 on charges of ‘acting against national security’. His trial reportedly began on 25 May 2008.

English PEN is calling for the immediate and unconditional release of writer Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand in accordance with Article 19 of the United Nations International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and seeks assurances of his well being, guarantees that his basic rights are being respected and that he is given full access to all necessary medical care as a matter of urgency.


According to our information, Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand, editor of the banned weekly Payam-e mardom-e Kurdestan, was arrested on 1 July 2007 at his place of work in Tehran by plain-clothed security officers.

Following his arrest, Mohammad Sadiq 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, where he is said to have been ill-treated. He is believed to have had no contact with his family since his arrest. No reason has been given for his arrest, although it could be linked to a previous one-year prison sentence which he has never served. His family has been unable to raise the bail that could have enabled him to be freed pending trial.

It has also been reported that Kabudvand has written two books on democracy and a third on the women’s movement in Iran which were not given publishing licences.

More information from Amnesty International:
‘Chair of the Kurdish Human Rights Organization (RMMK) based in Tehran, Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand, is also the editor of Payam-e Mardom-e Kurdestan (Kurdistan People’s Message) a weekly published in Kurdish and Persian, which was banned on 27 June 2004 after only 13 issues for ‘disseminating separatist ideas and publishing false reports’. Convicted of ‘disseminating tribal issues and publishing provocative articles’ and ‘spreading lies with the intention of upsetting public opinion’ by a Revolutionary Court in Sanandaj, western Iran, Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand received on 18 August 2005 a suspended prison sentence of 18 months, and a five-year ban on working as a journalist. His conviction was reportedly upheld on appeal, but the suspended prison sentence was increased to one year’s actual imprisonment. In September 2006 he was summoned to begin his prison sentence, but remained free pending an appeal against his conviction to the Supreme Court.’


Relevant links

To view earlier accounts of this case, please go to:


Please send appeals

• Expressing serious concerns for the health of journalist and writer Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand, and reports that he is 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;

• Expressing concerns at the apparent pattern of repression against journalists and human rights activist in Kurdish Iran.


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

Head of the Judiciary
His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Minister of Intelligence
Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie
Ministry of Intelligence
Second Negarestan Street
Pasdaran Avenue
Islamic Republic of Iran

Copies to

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

Kurdistan Human Rights Organization
PO Box 188-13465
Islamic Republic of Iran

It may be most effective to send the above appeals via the diplomatic representative for Iran in the UK:

His Excellency Mr Rasoul Movahedian
16 Prince’s Gate
Fax: 020 7589 4440

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