Mehdi Mahmoudian – Ahmad Zeidabadi

Jailed journalists Ahmad Zeidabadi and Mehdi Mahmoudian were given a furlough to spend Norooz New Year celebrations with their families.

The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reports that the two reformist journalists were released late Tuesday from Rejaishahr Prison in Karaj.

Zeidabadi was an advisor to reformist candidate Mehdi Karroubi in the 2009 presidential elections and he was arrested in June of 2009, at the start of the widespread protests triggered by allegations of vote fraud.

He has been sentenced to six years in jail, exile to Gonabad and a ban from journalism and social activities.

Zeidabadi is the winner of the Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom award, given to him by UNESCO in 2011, and the winner of the Golden Pen of Freedom by the World Association of Newspapers.

Mahmoudian was also arrested in the post-election protests in September of 2009. He was sentenced to five years in prison and a ban from journalism.

Mahmoudian was involved in exposing the names of the protesters killed in the post-election government crackdown and he helped to make a film that was said to contain images of “the secret mass burial of those killed in the election events in plot 302 of Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery.”

Mahmoudian also issued a letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, describing the “dire” conditions of the Rejaishah Prison and the “torture” of prisoners.

He was held in solitary confinement after his letter was published and reported to his family that his life had been threatened by prison authorities.