LONDON, England (Kurdistan24) - On Tuesday, PEN International urged Iran to free Mohammad Sediq Kaboudvand whose health is deteriorating after a month of hunger strike.
“PEN International calls on the Iranian authorities to ensure that Kaboudvand receives all necessary medical attention,” the statement read.
“PEN considers Kaboudvand to be imprisoned for his peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression, and continues to call for his immediate and unconditional release, in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a state party,” the statement added.
PEN International is the largest literary organization in the world and promotes freedom of expression. The group embodies the principle of “unhampered transmission of thought within each nation and between all nations.”
Kaboudvand is an Honorary Member of Austrian PEN, PEN Català, Swedish PEN and Sydney PEN. In 2008, he was one of PEN’s emblematic cases for the Day of the Imprisoned Writer.
He is also the recipient of a Hellman/Hammett grant and the British Press Award for the international journalist of the year in 2009.
“Kaboudvand has previously been targeted by the authorities for his critical writings and activism,” PEN added.
In a statement last week, Amnesty International also condemned Iran for imprisoning Kaboudvand.
“The life of a wrongfully imprisoned Iranian Kurdish human rights defender and journalist rests in the Iranian authorities’ hands. He is gravely ill in [the] hospital nearly a month into an ongoing hunger strike,” AI reported.
Mohammad Abdullahi and Ayub Asadi are two other Kurdish prisoners in Iran who are also on hunger strike.
[Kurdish activists in Germany have been on hunger strike in Berlin in front of the UN Parliament for a week to draw attention to Kaboudvand's situation, and other Kurdish prisoners in Iran. (Photo provided by the protestors)]
Karzan Shabahang, Kawa Sharifian, Fakhradin Faraji, Pishwa Motiei, Nihmat Malla, Naser Rasoulnajad, Hiwa Alizada, Kayhan Rahimi are the protesters on hunger strike in Berlin.
Speaking to Kurdistan24, Malla, one of the protesters, said that several German officials, members of European Parliament, as well as US, France, Russia, Belguim, Isreal, and Poland embassy staff have visited their tent which is now hosting eight protestors.
“Shabahang, who has refused dry food for 12 days, is now suffering from low blood pressure and other issues, but he continued to refuse food because the prisoners in Iran are still on hunger strike,” Malla said.
Kurds across the globe are asking Kaboudvand to end his hunger strike. Recently, Kurdish diaspora across Europe demonstrated to support Kaboudvand, protesting for his freedom.
Although Kurds make up 10 percent of the Iranian population, they are the majority of political prisoners in the country.
Reporting by Ava Homa
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany