Iran: Human rights defender and journalist released after 10 years

14 June 2017, 13:47 UTC |
Amnesty International

Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand, an Iranian prisoner of conscience, has been released from prison after 10 years of unjust detainment.

His charges related to his work as the founder and the Chair of the Human Rights Organisation of Kurdistan that protects the rights of Iran’s Kurdish minority and his work with a Kurdish newspaper.

In May 2016, he was admitted to hospital with life threating heart and kidney complications caused by a hunger strike and previous insufficient medical treatment. His strike was protesting authorities’ efforts to raise new charges as his original sentence was ending. The attempt to build a fresh case against him showed Iran’s determination to keep a resolute human rights defender behind bars.

During his detainment Amnesty International repeatedly called on the Iranian authorities to release Mohammad and ensure his unjust convictions, which exemplified Iran’s utter distain for the right to freedom of expression, were quashed.

The news of Mohammad’s recent release is both wonderful and long overdue.

“He was wrongfully imprisoned on trumped up charges and it is utterly deplorable that he was forced to spend the past 10 years of his life behind bars. His case is yet another illustration of the extreme lengths to which the Iranian authorities will go to criminalize the legitimate work of human rights defenders and journalists" 

Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director

“He was wrongfully imprisoned on trumped up charges and it is utterly deplorable that he was forced to spend the past 10 years of his life behind bars. His case is yet another illustration of the extreme lengths to which the Iranian authorities will go to criminalize the legitimate work of human rights defenders and journalists.” Amnesty International's Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director Magdalena Mughrabi said. 

The Iranian authorities have a decade of appalling injustice against Mohamed Sadiq Kabduvand to make up for. They can make a start by quashing his conviction and ensuring that he is free to continue his peaceful human rights and journalistic activities, Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand’s release must also pave the way for the Iranian authorities to end their relentless targeting of human rights defenders and journalists. As a first step, they should immediately and unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience.”