Dispute between Judicial Officials on the Release of Kurdish Human Rights Activist Keeps Him in Prison
The prominent Kurdish human rights activist, Mohammad Sediq Kaboudvand, has been recommended for conditional release by the chief warden of the notorious Evin Prison, but the prosecutor in his case has so far refused to consent, according to Kaboudvand’s wife.
Parinaz Baghban Hassani also told the Campaign that during the eight years her husband has served in prison, he has only been granted furlough once despite serious medical problems. Furlough, or temporary leave, is typically given to inmates in Iran for medical or other significant reasons, but routinely denied to political prisoners.
“Mohammad is suffering from digestion and kidney problems caused by going on long hunger strikes,” said Hassani. “We have made many requests to allow him to be hospitalized for treatment, but the requests were not approved.”
Hassani told the Campaign that the only option Kaboudvand has been given for treating his pain is requesting tranquilizers from the prison infirmary.
In 2012, Kaboudvand went on a wet hunger strike for 60 days to demand furlough to visit his son who was suffering from cancer.
Kaboudvand was the president of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan and editor of the Payam-e Mardom (“People’s Message”) Kurdish-Persian publication when he was arrested in 2007. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison for “propagating falsehoods with the intent to create public anxiety.”
Based on Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, those sentenced to more than ten years in prison are eligible for early release after serving half their term.
“A number of prisoners have been freed [after serving a part of their sentences] but we have not yet heard anything about my husband so far,” Hassani told the Campaign.