TEHRAN, Iran (Kurdistan24) - Muhammad Seddigh Kaboudvand, was released on Friday after serving a ten-year sentence in Iran's notorious Evin Prison, the family told Kurdistan24.
Kaboudvand, born in Diwandara (Divandareh), Kurdistan Province, in the northwest of Iran, was the editor of the banned weekly Payam-e mardom-e Kurdistan and the chair of the Tehran-based Kurdistan Human Rights Organization (RMMK).
When he co-founded the Kurdistan Human Rights Organization, along with other activists, Kaboudvand documented and publicized widespread human rights abuses in the Kurdish areas committed by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
He was incarcerated in 2007 for his activities.
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.
During a press briefing last April in Washington DC, an American official asked Iran to release the Kurdish prisoner Mohammad Sedigh Kaboudvand and other incarcerated writers and journalists.
John Kirby, then Spokesperson for the State Department told the press, "He [Kaboudvand] reported on torture in Iranian prisons, women’s rights issues, and cases of human rights abuses against Iran’s ethnic minorities," Kirby added.
Although Kurds make up 10 to 13 percent of the Iranian population, about half of political prisoners in the country are Kurds, says the United Nations.