Call to Action: Kurdish activist suffers stroke in jail
AKR is deeply concerned about the deteriorating condition of Mohammad Sadigh Kabodwand, jailed founder and chairman of the Kurdish Human Rights Organization. We urge the international community to put pressure on the Iranian government and to responsibly care for him while in custody.
According to our information, Kabodwand, 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, 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.
Kabodwand has reportedly written two books on democracy and a third on the women’s movement in Iran, which were not given publishing licences.
He has reportedly been denied access to medical help before and was held in very bad conditions in solitary confinement as well as being subject to torture.
Last month, two other Kurdish men (Kaveh Aziz Poor and Ebrahim Lotf Allahi) died while in government detention. It is suspected that both were beaten to death by government authorities. AKR again asks the international community to condemn these vicious acts.
There are approximately six million Kurds in Iran. All are denied important social and political rights. It is believed that hundreds of Kurdish men are currently in prison, and many say that the government deliberately diverts investment from Kurdish areas.
The situation appears to be growing worse. Displays of Kurdish culture are now no longer tolerated, with the government closing down Kurdish newspapers and magazines.
AKR asks those who care about human rights in Iran to write to the United Nations and the Iranian government condemning these xenophobic actions.
Ebrahim Lotf Allahi
The Iranian government has cleared the officer of any wrong doing, who was involved in torturing Mr. Ebrahim Lotf Allahi, a law student at the time when he died during detention.
In January 2008 news came out that they had buried him in the middle of the night and did not allow a medical report to establish cause of death.
The Iranian government told his family that he had committed suicide in prison.
Kaveh Aziz Poor
Kaveh Aziz Poor, a Kurdish man from the villages near Mahabad city, lost consciousness as a result of torture and after 20 days died in hospital in the city of Uromiyeh. He was arrested on the charge of being a member of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan.
The international community should be aware of the Iranian governmentâ€™s policy with regard to human rights and to political activists belonging to minorities, especially the Kurdish minority in Iran. The case of Kaveh Aziz Poor provides evidence of this.
(Please copy and paste this letter and send it to one of the following authorities)
I am writing you to express my concerns for the medical condition of Mr. Mohammad Sadigh Kabodwand. I am asking that the Iranian government give assurances that they will do what is necessary to restore his health. His condition is the result of long imprisonments and being subject to torture.
I am 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. Likewise, I am very concerned about the apparent pattern of repression against journalists and human rights activist in Kurdistan region of Iran.
Two examples of such brutal repression are the deaths of death of Kaveh Aziz Poor and Ebrahim Lotf Allahi. I am urgently asking the Iranian government to do a full investigation into the cause of the deaths of these two men and to bring the people responsible to justice.
Secretary-General United Nations
The Honorable Ban Ki-moon
United Nations Headquarters
New York, NY 10017
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,
Faxes: + 98.21.649.5880 / 21.774.2228
E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]
E-mail via web site
Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi Shahroudi
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh / Office of the Head of the Judiciary
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave.,
south of Serah-e Jomhouri,
Islamic Republic of Iran
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Ms Louise Arbour
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10,