INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN IN SUPPORT OF MOHAMMAD SEDIGH KABOUDVAND, IMPRISONED FOUNDER OF THE COUNCIL OF HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS IN KURDISTAN, A 2011 NOBEL PEACE PRIZE CANDIDATE–NOW ON HUNGER STRIKE FOR PRISON LEAVE TO CARE FOR CRITICALLY ILL SON
“Concern of the international community of human rights activists regarding the health condition of Mohammad Sedigh Kaboudvand, June 27, 2012
Mohammad Sedigh Kaboudvand, the founder and president of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan (HROK) and director of the banned weekly magazine, “Payame Mardom,” contacted family members and informed them that if the authorities of Islamic Republic would not grant him a temporary prison leave to treat his ill child, he would continue his hunger strike indefinitely.
Arrested in July 1st, 2007 due to human rights activities, Mohammad Sedigh Kaboudvand was kept in solitary confinement for more than 5 months in Evin Prison’s Sections 209 before being accused of “acting against national security through HROK,” and “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 was convicted to more than 10 years in prison by “the Tehran Islamic Revolutionary Court”.
Due to the harsh conditions of prison and the many months of solitary confinement, the founder of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan (HROK) has suffered from heart diseases and a prostate disorder and according to his lawyers and wife he has had several heart attacks. His condition worsened to the point that in April 2008 he suffered a stroke and was taken to a specialist for treatment. Doctors declare that Kaboudvand must be treated immediately in a specialized hospital and heart surgery must be performed. Furthermore, doctors say that his prostate needs immediate attention and surgery. Despite of the professional advice given to authorities of the Islamic Republic on this issue, they have not responded to the demands of his lawyer, family, or doctors. The Iranian authorities are deliberately neglecting the vital demands of Kaboudvand.
In this regard, the family of Kaboudvand, both directly and through his lawyer, has demanded a temporary prison leave for Kaboudvand from the Iranian authorities. However, these demands have been refused. According to a member of Kabudvand’s family, the authorities of Islamic Republic asked that in return for a temporary prison leave, Kaboudvand must ask for forgiveness from the “Supreme Leader of Iran”.
Kaboudvand has declared that as he has not committed any crime, asking for forgiveness is illogical.
Kaboudvand’s son, Pejman, was admitted to the hospital in 2011 due to a currently unknown blood disorder. Since then, Kaboudvand has demanded that he be granted a temporary leave in order to help treat his son. This demand was not met until January 2012 when a hunger strike by Kaboudvand sparked considerable pressure from the international human rights community compelled Iranian authorities to grant him a very short leave to see his son.
As Pejman’s condition in the hospital worsened, Kaboudvand once again requested temporary prison leave. On May 26th, 2012 after his demands were once again refused, Kaboudvand declared hunger strike and emphasized that if his demands were not be met, he would continue his hunger strike indefinitely.
Imprisonment, physical and psychological torture, heart illness, prostate disorder, and a long hunger strike, have created a very dangerous situation for the health of the founder of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan (HROK). By continuing his hunger strike, another human tragedy is inevitable.
In this respect, the family of Kaboudvand and members of higher council of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan (HROK) have declared that they too would launch a hunger strike from Wednesday June 20th, 2012 in support of Mohammad Sedigh Kaboudvand if his demands are not accepted.
The founder of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan (HROK), a Nobel Peace prize candidate in 2011, and recipient of numerous international awards for human rights and journalism, is not the only ill prisoner in the prisons of Iran. Lack of medical treatment, torture, and neglects have caused death and disability among countless prisoners. The campaign to support Mohammad Sedigh Kaboudvand expressed its serious concern that Iranian intelligence and prison authorities are systematically denying proper medical care to prisoners of conscience, resulting in severe complications and even deaths. Only within spring of this past year, four Kurdish prisoners have died in the prisons of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In this month alone, we can indicate the death of Mansur Radpour and Mahdi Zaliyeh.
Unfortunately, the general neglect of prisoners’ rights and particularly the lack of medical treatment in prisons of Islamic Republic have been implemented as torture methods to pressure political prisoners to express regret and forgiveness for their alleged “crimes” and their international rights as prisoners.
Members of the campaign to support Mohammad Sedigh Kaboudvand, believes that all the activities of Mohammad Sedigh Kaboudvand have been a part of activities by every human rights defender for the purpose of teaching and promoting human rights and documenting human rights violations in Kurdish region. Therefore, this campaign not only considers his imprisonment illegal, but also, believes Iran as one of the parties of The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), have obligation to protect the life of prisoners.
The members of the Campaign in support of Mohammad Sedigh Kaboudvand argue that the activities for which Kaboudvand has been arrested – education and documentation of human rights violations in the Kurdish area, are necessities of human rights activism. We strongly condemn the illegal acts and inhumanity of Iranian authorities regarding Kaboudvand’s situation.
Therefore, this campaign not only condemns all imprisonment of peaceful human rights activism, but as nation which has signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Iran must be held accountable and is responsible for the health and safety of Kaboudvand and their other prisoners. The Campaign in support of Mohammad Sedigh Kaboudvand strongly condemns the Islamic Republic’s abuse of Kaboudvand’s situation, and the rejection of his demands as physical and psychological torture.
The Campaign in support of Mohammad Sedigh Kaboudvand would like to make an appeal to all individuals, groups, and human rights organizations across the world to condemn the condition that Iran has put the founder of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan (HROK) in, and to demand that Iran release all political prisoners.
Campaign to support Mohammad Sedigh Kaboudvand”
FACEBOOK PAGE IN SUPPORT OF MOHAMMAD SEDIGH KABOUDVAND:
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