Mohammad Sadiq KaboudvandUPDATE: (15 October 2008) Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand has been in prison for 15 months and has been allowed to see his family only on one occasion for twenty minutes. He was supposed to have a 15-minute visit with his family in person on 24 September 2008 but was barred from meeting with his family. The protests of his family on behalf of Kaboudvand have been met with threats and slander.

Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand, arrested in June 2007 and held in solitary confinement, is the founder of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan (HROK). He has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.Kaboudvand was kept in solitary confinement for 5 months in Evin Prison’s Sections 209 and 240. Prison guards notified superiors that he was suffering from mental and physical ailments. His condition worsened to the point that in April 2008 he suffered a stroke and was taken to a specialist for treatment.

Kaboudvand’s defense team tried to obtain the approximately $1,500 (15 million Rial) health costs incurred by his family. Nasrin Sotudeh, one of Kaboudvand’s lawyers said, “The judge in the case wasn’t ready to hear about the sufferings Kaboudvand and his family went through, not even that they weren’t able to pay his health costs. Because of this, the case has been dragging out for quite some time, coupled with the fact that the court postponed the case three times.”

Kaboudvand actively documented and reported on human rights violations in Kurdistan, from 9 April 2005 when he established the HROK, until the time of his arrest. He is charged with “acting against national security through HROK,” “widespread propaganda against the system by disseminating news,” “opposing Islamic penal laws by publicizing punishments such as stoning and executions,” and “advocating on behalf of political prisoners.”

He is reportedly still in poor health and suffering from his lengthy detention in solitary confinement.