Paris-Geneva, May 7, 2014 - The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint FIDH-OMCT programme, has been informed about acts of torture as well as cruel and inhuman treatment against Mr. Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand, an Iranian human rights defender and President of the Human Rights Organisation of Kurdistan, who has been serving an 11-year prison sentence since 2007.
On April 17, 2014, Mr. Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand was severely beaten up, along with a large number of other prisoners of conscience, by prison guards and security agents during an inspection of prisoners’ personal effects, and taken away from Ward 350 of Evin prison. On May 5, he returned to Ward 350. During this period, he was initially detained in solitary confinement for three days despite his severe injuries and need of medical care. He was then taken to Evin prison’s clinic, where he remained until May 5 because bruises and other signs of beating up were clearly visible on his body, although all other prisoners had returned from solitary cells by May 1.
According to Mr. Kaboudvand’s family who visited him in prison on May 5, Mr. Kaboudvand suffered three broken ribs, two broken toes of left foot, kidney bleeding, and injuries on his left hand and back of his head. Despite his conditions, Mr. Kaboudvand has not been provided with adequate medical care. He has suffered other ailments as well as three strokes in prison in previous years. In its November 2012 session, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention declared that Mr. Kaboudvand’s detention was arbitrary.
Furthermore, Mr. Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, a trade unionist and child right activist, who was also among the prisoners beaten up and transferred to solitary confinement for two weeks until May 1, was summoned to the Prosecutor’s Office on May 3 but has not been returned to Ward 350 of Evin prison and his whereabouts remain unknown.
The Observatory recalls that other human rights defenders who were beaten up, included Messrs Abdolfattah Soltani, Saeed Matinpour, Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki, and Omid Behrouzi. The first two were taken to solitary confinement for several days. They all suffered injuries and are in need of medical care.
The Observatory strongly condemns the cruel and inhuman treatment of Messrs. Kaboudvand, Ebrahimzadeh, Soltani, Ronaghi-Maleki, Matinpour and Behrouzi by the Iranian authorities. Furthermore, the Observatory calls on the Iranian authorities to provide immediate and adequate medical care to these and other prisoners of conscience, to end their cruel and inhuman treatment, and release them and all other human rights defenders in Iran immediately and unconditionally.