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 Jailed Iranian Kurdish activist continues to refuse food 

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Jailed Iranian Kurdish activist continues to refuse food  22.6.2012   

Jailed Iranian Kurdish human rights activist Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand, currently in Iranian prison serving an 11-year sentence. See Related Links
June 22, 2012

TEHRAN, — Iranian political prisoner Mohammad Seddigh Kaboudvand is continuing with his hunger strike after more than a month of refusing food, his wife reported after a recent visit with him, Radio zamaneh reported.

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reports that Parinaz Baghban Hassani said her husband told her that he will not stop his hunger strike until the authorities grant him leave to visit his sick son.

The jailed human rights activist reportedly appeared very sick and weak but he was determined to continue with his protest.

Kaboudvand broke an earlier hunger strike at the urging of authorities, who promised him a furlough, but they broke that promise after he complied.

The family is extremely concerned about the jailed activist’s health and fear that he might suffer a fatal health crisis, as happened to another political prisoner, Hoda Saber, who died from a heart attack while he was on a hunger strike.

Kaboudvand has reportedly been transferred to the infirmary on several occasions.

Kaboudvand’s wife has urged the authorities to comply with the Islamic Republic’s own legal provisions, which allow prisoners to go on leave and visit their families.

The state coroner has already declared Mohammad Seddigh Kaboudvand to be medically unfit to serve out his sentence, but the judiciary has refused to heed the evaluation.

Kaboudvand was arrested in 2007 on the charge of “acting against national security” by establishing the Kurdistan Defence of Human Rights Organization. He was sentenced to 11 years in jail on top of which he was given another year for “propaganda against the Islamic Republic.”

Publishing the weekly magazine Payam-e Mardom was also among his charges.

In May 2012, in the press briefing, U.S. State Department spokesperson Nuland called on the Iranian government to release Mohammad Seddigh Kaboudvand, along with the approximately 90 other journalists it is currently holding in Iranian prisons. The United States, as President Barack Obama has said, will continue to speak out “when fundamental human rights are denied, when freedom of judiciaries or legislatures or the press is threatened.”

In 2009, Kaboudvand won a Hellman/Hammett grant for persecuted writers from campaign group Human Rights Watch, as well as the International Journalist of the Year Award at the Press Gazette British Press Awards.

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