Nomination of Mr. KABUDVAND-MEA 2017

Nomination of Mr. Mohammad Sadiq KABUDVAND to the Martin Ennals Award 2017

We are pleased to inform you that the Association for Human Rights in Kurdistan of Iran – Geneva (KMMK-G) submitted today the application of Mr. Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand to the Martin Ennals Award 2017.

Eminent journalist and human rights defender, Mohammad Sadiq KABUDVAND founded in 2005 the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan (Rêxistina Mafê Mirovan li Kurdistanê in Kurdish, RMMK or HROK). With offices in Tehran and in Kurdistan, the HROK has a membership of between 100 and 200 journalists and activists.[1] The organization aims to encourage and to teach respect for human rights in Kurdistan, and to develop friendly relations between all the peoples of Iran based on equality before the law. Since its creation, the HROK has striven for recognition and official registration as a non-governmental organization. However, the Iranian authorities have always rejected this request.[2]

In addition, Mr. KABUDVAND is the editor and executive director of the weekly magazine Payame Mardome Kurdistan (Kurdistan People’s Message). Published in Farsi and in Kurdish, the publication was banned on June 27, 2004 after its thirteenth issue, for “disseminating separatist ideas and publishing false reports”.[3]

On July 1, 2007, Mr. KABUDVAND was arrested in his office in Tehran and incarcerated in Section 209 of the Evin prison, infamous for the detention of Iranian political prisoners.[4] On 22 June 2008, the Tehran Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal sentenced him to eleven years in prison for “acting against national security” by creating the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan and “propaganda against the system”.[5] The Tehran Court of Appeal confirmed the sentence in October 2008.[6] His conditions of detention are extremely difficult.[7] Mr. KABUDVAND is not allowed to have any contact with his lawyer, Mrs. Sirin EBADI, Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Furthermore, he is suffering from heart problems.[8] On May 19, 2008, he fainted in his cell and remained unconscious during thirty minutes. Then, on 17 December, 2008, he had a heart attack.[9] However, the penitentiary authorities refuse him access to appropriate medical care.[10]

Mr. KABUDVAND is a prisoner of conscience held only for having peacefully exercised his rights to freedom of expression and association. He is the first person who dared to create a publication mentioning the name “Kurdistan” and an organization dedicated to the defence of human rights in Iranian Kurdistan. Mr. KABUDVAND is paying a heavy price for his commitment. His experience shows the desperate situation currently endured by journalists, human rights defenders and other dissident voices in Iran.

Association for Human Rights in Kurdistan of Iran – Geneva (KMMK-G)

November 2010

© Association pour les Droits Humains au Kurdistan d'Iran-Genève (KMMK-G) - Admin -