Mohammad Seddigh Kaboodvand

More than 350 Iranian political, social and media activists have called on Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, to help Iranian political prisoner Mohammad Seddigh Kaboodvand, who is currently on a hunger strike.

The signatories announced their concern regarding Kaboodvand’s reportedly critical condition in Evin Prison.

Kaboodvand, a journalist and human rights activist, began a hunger strike on May 16 to protest the authorities’ refusal to allow him visit his sick son. At first the authorities asked him to end his strike in order to be granted the furlough, but when he complied, some days later he was informed that his request had been turned down.

Kaboodvand, who is already suffering from ill health, began his hunger strike once again to demand the right to visit his son.
The signatories of the letter to Pillay report that Kaboodvand’s son has been hospitalized with a serious blood disease, and the family has requested the father’s leave so he can support the son in this difficult time of treatment.

The signatories urge Pillay to make every effort to assist Kaboodvand in getting the necessary medical care for himself and the opportunity to be with his son in his time of need.

Kaboodvand 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 10 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.