Mohammad Seddigh Kaboodvand

Mohammad Seddigh Kaboodvand, a jailed Kurdish human rights activist, has once again begun a hunger strike to back his demand for a furlough to visit his sick son.

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reports that Kaboodvand began his hunger strike last Saturday May 26, and his wife Parinaz Hassany reported that during her visit on Monday May 20, she had been informed that her husband is refusing food until he is finally allowed to visit his son.

Kaboodvand had started a hunger strike earlier in May for the same reason. The officials had agreed to give him a furlough if he broke his strike.

Parinaz Hassany says the authorities want her husband to sign a letter of pardon, but her husband is refusing to do so because he insists that he has committed no offence.

Hassany adds that her husband is suffering from health problems and has to undergo surgery, but prison authorities refuse to provide for any of his medical needs.

The wife of the jailed journalist and human rights activist says: “My son has been afflicted with a serious disease, and the physicians claim that the presence of his father could improve the outcome of the treatments, so I am calling on the authorities to respect their own laws and give my husband a furlough, which is the right of every Iranian prisoner.”

Mohammad Seddigh Kaboodvand was arrested five years ago and charged with “acting against national security” on the grounds that he had founded the Kurdistan Defense of Human Rights organization. He was sentenced to 10 years in jail for founding this organization and another year for “propaganda against the regime.”

He also published the weekly “Payam-e Mardom” in both Persian and Kurdish for two years; the publication was banned by the government in 2006.