Friday, May 16, 2014

Iran Tortures the Imprisoned Kurdish Journalist, Kaboudvand

Kaboudvand has been in prison for eight-years

Plain-clothes agents, prison guards and officials attacked Muhammad Sediq Kaboudvand and other prisoners in ward 350 of Evin Prison, Tehran, last month.

Kaboudvand sustained severe injuries, “suffered three broken ribs, kidney bleeding, two broken toes on left foot, bruised knee and arm, and swelling at the back of the head” and was sent to his cell for three days before he received any medical attention, reports the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).

The hospitalization lasted 19 days at Evin’s central heath care centre. Kaboudvand’s family has announced that the lengthy hospitalization was meant to deny the traces of torture on this Kurdish activists’ body.

Iranian authorities have denied the attacks by plain clothes members of the intelligence service in Evin prison. Despite the denial, officials have openly threatened the prisoners who leaked the news.

Kaboudvands’ family have announced that despite the attempt to hide the traces of torture and to deny the attack, witness reports and camera recording at prison and at the hospital can testify to the physical abuse that Kaboudvand has endured.

The family has also declared that they will officially appeal to all relevant national and international organizations to react to this unjust treatment.

Kaboudvand has been in prison for eight-years now. For having founded the Kurdistan Human Rights Organization and managing the publication Payam Mardomi (people’s message) he was charged with “Acting against the National Security” and was charged with 11 years of imprisonment.

His health was dramatically deteriorated in prison and he went on hunger strikes for months when he was denied furlough to visit his ailing son.    
Receiving furlough is one of the prisoners’ rights, according to the Islamic Republic of Iran, but the Kurdish activists are often denied the basic rights that other prisoners receive in Evin.

Nasrin Sotoudeh, an Iranian lawyer who represented Kaboudvand told the media that this Kurdish activist had received one of the worst treatments in Evin.

Farzad Kamangar’s lawyer, Bahram Khalili echoed this statement when he declared that the unusual court hearing of Kamangar and his charges despite evidence proves the widespread discrimination against Kurds by the Iranian regime.

Amnesty International, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), and its affiliate, the Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LDDHI) have repeatedly called on Iranian authorities to release Kaboudvand. It was because of international pressure that after years, Kaboudvand was allowed to visit his sick son.

Because of his journalistic activities, Kaboudvand was named the international journalist of the year at the British Press Award in 2009. When he co-founded the Kurdistan Human Rights Organizations, along with other activists, Kaboudvand documented and publicized widespread human rights’ abuses in the Kurdish areas, committed by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Because of his commitment to the protection of human rights, he received international recognition from organisations such New York-based Human Rights Watch.

'Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand is a prisoner of conscience, held solely for his journalistic and human rights work and the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression. He should never have been arrested in the first place, and must be released immediately and unconditionally so that he is free to be with his family at this distressing time,' said Ann Harrison, the deputy director of Amnesty International.

Kaboudvand’s family has constantly been harassed. Activists  have reported that “security officials have prevented his family’s access to the media by disconnecting their house landline and his wife’s mobile.”

This time, however, the family has officially complained to the media and have published in Kaboudand’s website that the recent attack on Kaboudvand was outrages and a breach of Iranian government’s very own rules and regulations.

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