Nov 10, 2008

Iranian Kurdistan: Rights Activist Detained

Active ImageFounder of the Human Rights Organisation of Kurdistan group has been sentenced to an 11 year jail term. 


Below is an article published by AFP:

Iran's appeals court has confirmed an 11-year jail term for a Kurdish rights activist and journalist after he was convicted of acting against national security, his lawyer told AFP on Saturday [8 November 2008].

Mohammad Sadigh Kaboudvand, who founded the Human Rights Organisation of Kurdistan group three years ago [2005], has been held in Tehran's Evin prison since June 2007, said lawyer Nasrin Sotoodeh.

She was informed of the appeals court decision on October 18 [2008], she said, and since then has not been allowed to see her client, who is in need of medical care.

"This is a completely unusual and unconventional ruling for a human rights advocate," Sotoodeh said. "I believe this is meant to ring alarm the bells for other rights activists in Iran."

The lawyer added that she planned to protest the sentence through an appeal to judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi.

Kaboudvand in 2005 was handed an 18-month jail term for his activism and the authorities outlawed his local publication "Payam-e Mardom-e Kordestan", or the message of the Kurdistan people.

But the sentence was later reduced to six months and the publication ban revoked, Sotoodeh said.

Kargozaran newspaper, meanwhile, reported on Saturday [8 November 2008] that a Kurdish teacher has been sentenced to jail on security charges.

A revolutionary court handed Ali Pasbar, a teacher in the town of Mahabad, a sentence of two years in prison and a four-year suspended term for "acting against security and cooperation with a banned party, the report said without elaborating.