Ahmad Zeidabadi

Ahmad Zeidabadi, a jailed journalist and secretary general of the student organization, Advar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat, has been allowed his first temporary leave since he was arrested two years ago.

Zeidabadi was an aide to Mehdi Karroubi, the reformist presidential candidate and opposition leader, who is now under house arrest for rallying protesters.

Zeidabadi was arrested after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed re-election led to widespread protests across Iran. He was sentenced to six years in prison and exile to Gonabad as well as a lifetime ban from social and political activity.

Zeidabadi won the UNESCO World Press Freedom Prize in 2011 and, in a statement that was read in the ceremony, he wrote: "I have never crossed the laws and regulations of the Iranian government in my work, but they have violated their own laws and regulations by inflicting such pains on me that have been beyond my endurance. Pains that are comparable to weeks of crucifixion or being buried alive."

Zeidabdi also won the 2010 Golden Pen of Freedom award.

He is among nine ailing Iranian journalists in Islamic Republic prisons whose plight has been taken up by Amnesty International. The group recently called on authorities to provide the prisoners with immediate medical care.