Last Updated: Friday, 26 December 2014, 13:50 GMT

Annual Prison Census 2010 - Iran

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date 8 December 2010
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Annual Prison Census 2010 - Iran, 8 December 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4d4977e626.html [accessed 27 December 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Journalists in prison as of December 1, 2010

Iran: 34

Adnan Hassanpour, Aso
Imprisoned: January 25, 2007

Security agents seized Hassanpour, former editor of the now-defunct Kurdish-Persian weekly Aso, in his hometown of Marivan, Kurdistan province, according to news reports.

In July 2007, a Revolutionary Court convicted Hassanpour on antistate charges and sentenced him to death. After a series of appeals and reversals, he was sentenced in May 2010 to 15 years in prison, defense lawyer Saleh Nikbakht told the Reporters and Human Rights Activists News Agency.

The government's case against Hassanpour amounted to a series of assertions by security agents, defense attorney Sirvan Hosmandi told CPJ in 2008. Hassanpour's sister, Lily, told CPJ that she believed his critical writings were behind the charges.

Mohammad Seddigh Kaboudvand, Payam-e-Mardom
Imprisoned: July 1, 2007

Plainclothes security officials arrested journalist and human rights activist Kaboudvand at his Tehran office, according to Amnesty International and CPJ sources. He was being held at Evin Prison in Tehran.

Authorities accused Kaboudvand, head of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan and managing editor of the weekly Payam-e-Mardom, of acting against national security and engaging in propaganda against the state, according to his organization's website. A Revolutionary Court in Tehran sentenced him to 11 years in prison. Kaboudvand was reported in ill health, but authorities refused requests for medical furlough. Based on their visits, family members feared he had suffered a stroke, the Kurdish human rights website Rawa News reported.

Kaboudvand's lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, was herself taken into custody in September 2010, according to news reports. Sotoudeh's arrest was part of a government crackdown on lawyers seeking to defend political prisoners and journalists. Lawyers have been intimidated, temporarily detained, and in some cases audited for tax evasion.

Mojtaba Lotfi, freelance
Imprisoned: October 8, 2008

A clergyman and blogger, Lotfi was arrested by security forces on a warrant issued by the religious Clergy Court in Qom. Authorities accused him of publishing the views of Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, the now-deceased cleric who had criticized President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's positions.

Authorities did not specify particular articles or publications in which the views were supposedly cited. In November 2009, Lotfi was convicted of several charges, including spreading antistate information, and sentenced to four years in prison followed by a period of exile, according to online reports.

On July 10, the Human Rights House of Iran reported that Lotfi had been transferred to the remote village of Ashtian for a period of enforced internal exile. News reports were conflicted on the period of exile.

Hossein Derakhshan, freelance
Imprisoned: November 2008

On December 30, 2008, a spokesman for the Iranian Judiciary confirmed in a press conference in Tehran that Derakhshan, a well-known Iranian-Canadian blogger, had been detained since November 2008 in connection with comments he allegedly made about a key cleric, according to local and international news reports. The exact date of Derakhshan's arrest is unknown, but news of his detention first appeared on November 17, 2008, on a website close to the Iranian intelligence apparatus. At the time, Jahan News reported that he had confessed to "spying for Israel" during the preliminary interrogation.

Known as the "Blogfather" for his pioneering online work, Derakhshan started blogging after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. A former writer for reformist newspapers, he also contributed opinion pieces to The Guardian of London and The New York Times. The journalist, who lived in Canada during most of the last decade, returned to Tehran a few weeks before his detention, The Washington Post reported. In November 2009, the BBC Persian service reported that Derakhshan's family had sought information about his whereabouts and the charges he faced, and expressed concern about having very limited contact with him.

On September 29, the government announced that Derakhshan had been sentenced to 19 and a half years in prison, along with a five-year ban on "membership in political parties and activities in the media," according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran and other sources. Derakhshan has spent most of his imprisonment in solitary confinement at Evin Prison, according to multiple sources. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, citing a source close to the journalist's family, said Derakhshan had been beaten and coerced into making false confessions about having ties to U.S. and Israeli intelligence services.

Nader Karimi Jooni, freelance
Imprisoned: December 2008

Jooni, arrested in late 2008, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on January 11, 2010, on charges of mutiny, espionage, and acting against national security, according to the reformist website Kalame. He denied the charges and said the case was politicized.

Jooni, a political editor and writer for now-defunct publications such as Gozaresh, Fekr, Jahan-e-Sanat, and Siasat-e-Rooz, was placed in Evin Prison's Ward 209, where political prisoners are held. He is an Iran-Iraq War veteran who requires continuing medical care, Kalame reported. In April, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said Jooni was in poor health.

Mohammad Pour Abdollah, freelance
Imprisoned: February 13, 2009

In December 2009, a Revolutionary Court convicted Pour Abdollah, a Tehran university student and a blogger, on charges of "illegal congregation, actions against national security, and propagating against the Islamic Republic of Iran," according to the BBC Persian service website. Pour Abdollah's original six-year sentence was reduced to three years, the Human Rights Activists News Agency reported in April.

Several news websites said he had been tortured while in custody at Ghezel Hesar Prison, a facility that houses hardened criminals. Since his detention, Pour Abdollah's blog has been disabled; only his last post can be accessed, on another writer's blog. In that post, Pour Abdollah writes critically about the political, social, and economic conditions in Iran and elsewhere.

Morteza Moradpour, Yazligh
Imprisoned: May 22, 2009

Moradpour, who wrote for Yazligh, a children's magazine, is serving a three-year prison term on charges of "propagating against the Islamic Republic of Iran," "mutiny," and "illegal congregation," according to the Committee of Human Rights Reporters. An appeals court in Azerbaijan province upheld the sentence, according to the committee's February 9 report.

Moradpour was arrested in 2009 along with several family members during a protest over Azeri-language rights in Tabriz in northwestern Azerbaijan province, according to the Committee of Human Rights Reporters. Two issues of Yazligh were used as evidence in the trial against him, the news website Bizim Tabriz reported.

Moradpour's attorney said the charges were politically motivated and fabricated, the news website Tabriz Sesi reported. The Committee of Human Rights Reporters said pressure on members of Azeri civil society had increased as the government attempted to marginalize the ethnic minority.

Ahmad Zaid-Abadi, freelance
Imprisoned: June 2009

Zaid-Abadi, who wrote a weekly column for Rooz Online, a Farsi- and English-language reformist news website, was arrested in Tehran, according to news reports. Zaid-Abadi is also the director of the Organization of University Alumni of the Islamic Republic of Iran and a supporter of defeated presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi.

On November 23, 2009, Zaid-Abadi was sentenced to six years in prison, five years' exile to Gonabad in Khorasan province, and a "lifetime deprivation of any political activity" including "interviews, speech, and analysis of events, whether in written or oral form," according to Deutsche Welle's Persian website. An appeals court upheld the sentence on January 2, according to Advar News.

In February 2010, Zaid-Abadi and fellow journalist Massoud Bastani were transferred to Rajaee Shahr Prison, a facility known for housing people convicted of drug-related crimes. Zaid-Abadi's wife, Mahdieh Mohammadi, said prison conditions are crowded and unsanitary, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported. She said she fears malnutrition and the spread of disease.

Omid Salimi, Nesf-e-Jehan
Imprisoned: June 14, 2009

Salimi, a photographer who worked for Nesf-e-Jehan newspaper in Esfahan, was arrested after being summoned by the Revolutionary Guards to pick up belongings confiscated during an earlier arrest, according to Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran, a local human rights watchdog. Salimi had been detained in December 2008 and had spent three months in prison on unspecified charges.

After his 2009 arrest, Salimi was transferred to Evin Prison in Tehran, according to the Iranian Reporters and Human Rights Activists News Agency. No formal charges or trial proceedings have been disclosed.

Kayvan Samimi, Nameh
Imprisoned: June 14, 2009

Samimi, manager of the now-defunct monthly Nameh, was serving a six-year prison sentence, along with a 15-year ban on "political, social, and cultural activities," the Aftab News website reported.

Initially held at Evin Prison, Samimi was subjected to mistreatment. In February 2010, he was transferred to solitary confinement after objecting to poor prison conditions, according to Free Iranian Journalists, a website devoted to documenting cases of jailed reporters and editors. In July, Samimi and 14 other prisoners went on a 16-day hunger strike to protest abuse at Evin Prison. After they broke their strike, they were not allowed to visit with their families or call them for a month, the reformist news website Jonbesh-e-Rah-e-Sabz reported. In November, Samimi was transferred to Rajaee Shah Prison in Karaj,which houses violent criminals, according news reports.

Samimi's lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, was herself taken into custody in September 2010, news reports said. Sotoudeh's arrest was part of a government crackdown on lawyers seeking to defend political prisoners and journalists. Lawyers have been intimidated, temporarily detained, and in some cases audited for tax evasion.

Hamzeh Karami, Jomhoriyat
Imprisoned: June 19, 2009

Karami, editor of the now-defunct reformist news website Jomhoriyat, was arrested on June 19, 2009, according to the website Nedaye Sabz-e-Azadi. Iranian authorities had banned Jomhoriyat just one week before, the Asr-e-Iran news website reported.

He was charged with "acting against national security through congregation and mutiny intended to disrupt public order," "propagating against the regime," "propagating falsehoods," and embezzlement, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency. His original 16-year prison sentence was reduced to 11 years on appeal, the Committee of Human Rights Reporters reported in May 2010. He was also fined the equivalent of US$600,000.

Karami, a close ally of reformist politician Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani, was coerced into confessions implicating himself and others, according to Reporters and Human Rights Activists of Iran.

Despite his conviction, Karami paid a US$2 million bail and was released on furlough in May 14, 2010, according to the Kalame reformist news website. But authorities sent him back to prison after he refused to testify against Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former president turned government critic.

In an August 2010 open letter to the prosecutor-general, Karami said he had been tortured in custody, coerced into making false confessions, threatened with rape, told his family members were being subjected to violence, denied access to a lawyer, and forced to witness other inmates being beaten. Kalame reported in September that Karami had been denied medical leave for his heart condition.

Bahman Ahmadi Amouee, freelance
Imprisoned: June 19, 2009

Amouee, a contributor to reformist newspapers such as Mihan, Hamshahri, Jame'e, Khordad, Norooz, and Sharq, and the author of an eponymous blog, was arrested with his wife, Zhila Bani-Yaghoub, according to news reports. Bani-Yaghoub, editor-in-chief of the Iranian Women's Club, a news website focusing on women's rights, was released on bail in August 2009, according to the BBC Persian service.

In January 2010, Amouee was sentenced to 34 lashes, along with seven years and four months in prison. In March, an appeals court reduced the sentence to five years in prison, according to Rooz Online.

Amouee was being held in Tehran's Evin Prison, at least part of the time in solitary confinement, according to news reports. His wife told Rooz Online in February that Amouee was sharing a 115-square-foot (10-square-meter) cell with 40 other prisoners.

In July, Amouee and 14 other prisoners staged a 16-day hunger strike to protest mistreatment at Evin Prison. Prison officials punished them by denying family visits for a month, Jonbesh-e-Rah-e-Sabz reported.

Issa Saharkhiz, freelance
Imprisoned: July 3, 2009

Saharkhiz, a columnist for the reformist news websites Rooz Online and Norooz and a founding member of the Association of Iranian Journalists, was arrested while traveling in northern Iran, the association said in a statement. His lawyer said his client was charged with "participation in riots," "encouraging others to participate in riots," and "insulting the supreme leader," according to Rooz Online.

Saharkhiz was sentenced to three years in prison, a five-year ban on political and journalistic activities, and a one-year ban on foreign travel, the reformist news website Jonbesh-e-Rah-e-Sabz reported in September 2010. In an interview with Radio Zamaaneh, Mehdi Saharkhiz said his father would not appeal the court's decision. "He said that all sentencing is made under [Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei's direct supervision and the judiciary has nothing to do with it. Therefore, neither the lower court, nor the appeals court is official in any way, and they are only for show."

Saharkhiz has had a long career in journalism. He worked for 15 years for IRNA, Iran's official news agency, and ran its New York office for part of that time. He returned to Iran in 1997 to work in Mohammad Khatami's Ministry of Islamic Guidance, in charge of domestic publications. Journalist Ahmad Bourghani and Saharkhiz came to be known as the architects of a period of relative freedom for the press in Iran. After Saharkhiz was forced to leave the ministry and was banned from government service in a trial, he founded a reformist newspaper, Akhbar-e-Eghtesad, and monthly magazine, Aftab, both of which were eventually banned. He wrote articles directly critical of Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader.

During his imprisonment, which began at Evin Prison, Saharkhiz was subjected to constant pressure, including being kept in a prison yard overnight in freezing temperatures without shoes or socks, according to Rooz Online. Saharkhiz waged a hunger strike in March, according to the Norooz newswebsite, which quoted his son as saying that he had lost about 45 pounds (20 kilograms). He was later transferred to a prison in remote Karaj.

In August 2010, Saharkhiz filed a lawsuit in a U.S. court against Nokia Siemens Network concerning the sale of surveillance technology to the Islamic Republic of Iran. The complaint alleged that the technology was used to locate him for arrest in 2009, the U.S. government-funded Radio Farda reported. In a statement, Nokia Siemens said its actions had not led to Saharkhiz's abuse.

Saharkhiz's lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, was herself taken into custody in September 2010, according to news reports. Sotoudeh's arrest was part of a government crackdown on lawyers seeking to defend political prisoners and journalists. Lawyers have been intimidated, temporarily detained, and in some cases audited for tax evasion.

Massoud Bastani, Farhikhtegan and Jomhoriyat
Imprisoned: July 5, 2009

Bastani, a journalist for the reformist newspaper Farhikhtegan and Jomhoriyat, a news website affiliated with the 2009 presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi, was arrested when he went to a Tehran court seeking information about his wife, journalist Mahsa Amrabadi, according to local news reports. Amrabadi, arrested with two other journalists in June 2009, was released the next month.

Bastani was among more than 100 opposition figures and journalists who faced a mass, televised judicial proceeding in August 2009 on vague antistate accusations, according to news reports. On October 20, 2009, the news site Norooz reported that a court had sentenced Bastani to six years in prison for "propagating against the regime and congregating and mutinying to create anarchy."

Bastani had been editor-in-chief of the now-banned Neda-ye Eslahat (Voice of Reform) weekly. Bastani was transferred to the Rajaee Shahr Prison, a facility reserved for hardened criminals, along with fellow journalist Ahmad Zaid-Abadi, according to the reformist daily Etemad. In July, Bastani's family told reporters that he had suffered an infection in his teeth and jaw that had gone untreated in prison, the Human Rights House of Iran reported.

Saeed Matin-Pour, Yar Pag and Mouj Bidari
Imprisoned: July 12, 2009

A Revolutionary Court in Tehran convicted Matin-Pour of having "relations with foreigners" and "propagating against the regime," according to local news reports. He was sentenced to an eight-year prison term in June 2008.

Matin-Pour was first arrested in May 2007 and released on bail. He was rearrested in July 2009 amid the government's massive crackdown on dissidents and the press. The journalist had worked for Yar Pag and Mouj Bidari newspapers in western Azerbaijan province, in addition to writing his own blog, according to local news reports.

Matin-Pour's wife, Atieh Taheri, told the Human Rights Activists News Agency that the journalist's health had deteriorated in Evin Prison and that officials had denied him proper medical care. Matin-Pour suffered from heart and respiratory problems, according to news reports.

Mohammad Hossein Sohrabi Rad, Saham News
Imprisoned: September 2009

Sohrabi Rad was arrested on several antistate charges, including "creating public anxiety" "propagating against the regime," and "insulting authorities," stemming from his work on a video detailing prisoner abuse at the Kahrizak Detention Center, according to news reports. The detention center was closed in July 2009 after Saham News, an online news outlet,and others documented pervasive abuse of detainees.

Sohrabi Rad was sentenced to four years in prison and 74 lashes, the Human Rights House of Iran reported in June. Evin Prison officials subjected Sohrabi Rad to physical and psychological pressure, placed him in solitary confinement, and repeatedly suspended his visitation privileges, Asr-e-Nou reported. A prison doctor said the journalist was suffering greatly in prison, according to the website of Human Rights and Democracy Activists of Iran.

In July, Sohrabi Rad and 14 other prisoners went on a 16-day hunger strike to protest mistreatment at Evin Prison. Prison officials punished them by denying family visits for a month, Jonbesh-e-Rah-e-Sabz reported.

Mohammad Davari, Saham News
Imprisoned: September 5, 2009

Davari, editor-in-chief of Saham News, a website affiliated with 2009 presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi, was charged with several antistate counts, including "propagating against the regime," and "disrupting national security." The charges stemmed from Davari's reporting on widespread complaints of abuse and rape of inmates at Kahrizak Detention Center. The detention center was closed in July 2009 after Saham Newsand others documented the pervasive abuse.

In May 2010, Davari was sentenced to five years in prison, according to the website of Reporters and Human Rights Activists of Iran. His family said he was being held at Tehran's Evin Prison.

Davari was tortured and coerced into making false statements against Karroubi, along with false statements recanting his Kahrizak Detention Center reports, according to an April 6 report by Reporters and Human Rights Activists. When Davari complained about poor prison conditions, officials placed him in solitary confinement and denied him family visits, according to news reports.

In November 2010, CPJ honored Davari with its International Press Freedom Award.

Mehdi Mahmoudian, freelance
Imprisoned: September 16, 2009

Mahmoudian, a political journalist and blogger, was serving a five-year prison term on charges of "mutiny against the regime" for his role in documenting complaints of rape and abuse of detainees at the Kahrizak Detention Center.

The detention center was closed in July 2009 after Mahmoudian and others documented the pervasive abuse. Mahmoudian also worked with journalist Emadeddin Baghi at the Center for the Defense of Prisoners' Rights. Held at Rajaee Shahr Prison, Mahmoudian was in poor health and suffering from kidney ailments, according to Deutsche Welle.

Seyed Hossein Ronaghi Maleki (Babak Khorramdin), freelance
Imprisoned: December 13, 2009

Ronaghi Maleki, writing under the name Babak Khorramdin, discussed politics in a series of critical blogs that were blocked by the government. He was also a founder of an anti-censorship group known as the Iran Proxy, which was launched in 2003.

In October 2010, a Revolutionary Court sentenced Ronaghi Maleki to 15 years in prison on antistate conspiracy charges, the reformist news website Jonbesh-e-Rah-e-Sabz reported.

Ronaghi Maleki's family said the journalist was in poor health and had severe kidney problems that were going untreated, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Defense lawyer Mohammad Ali Dadkhah told the campaign that his client had endured nearly a year in solitary confinement.

Kouhyar Goudarzi, Committee of Human Rights Reporters
Imprisoned: December 20, 2009

Goudarzi, a veteran journalist for the Committee of Human Rights Reporters, was charged with several antistate counts based on his reporting. In June 2010, he was sentenced to one year in prison, according to the Human Rights House of Iran.

Shortly after his arrest in December 2009, visitors to the prison said Goudarzi's head was bandaged, although it was not clear how he had sustained his injuries, according to the reformist online publication Rooz Online. The human rights committee said judicial authorities have sought to link the organization to external political parties.

Goudarzi staged a number of hunger strikes to protest mistreatment in Evin Prison. His mother told the Deutsche Welle Persian website that his health was deteriorating.

Mohammad Nourizad, freelance
Imprisoned: December 20, 2009

Nourizad, a blogger and documentary filmmaker, was arrested after he wrote an open letter to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei urging him to apologize for the government's post-election conduct, along with an article criticizing the head of Iran's judiciary, the BBC Persian service reported. Security officers raided Nourizad's home, seizing his computer and documents, according to the pro-opposition news website Jonbesh-e-Rah-e-Sabz.

On April 24, 2010, Nourizad wrote another open letter to Khamenei from his prison cell at Evin Prison, criticizing him for his conduct and treatment of Iranian citizens, several news websites reported.

A Revolutionary Court sentenced Nourizad to three and a half years in prison and 50 lashes on charges of "propagating against the regime" and "insulting the supreme leader," the reformist news website Kalame reported April 28. Prison guards assaulted Nourizad in May, his wife told Kalame. Nourizad suffered head injuries that impaired his vision, she said.

Nourizad was briefly freed on a furlough in summer 2010, but was ordered back to prison after he wrote another protest letter to Khamenei, according to the group Free Iranian Journalists.

Nourizad had once written for Kayhan, a newspaper closely associated with conservative elements in the government,but he distanced himself from the publication after the disputed 2009 presidential election. Since then, Kayhan has repeatedly attacked Nourizad and his writing, according to CPJ research.

Mostafa Dehghan, freelance
Imprisoned: January 8, 2010

Dehghan wrote about social issues for several newspapers and the women's rights website Change for Equality, according to Jonbesh-e-Rah-e- Sabz. He was being held at Evin Prison.

The website Jmin News said Dehghan called his family in mid-January and said he did not know why he had been detained. No charges or trial proceedings were publicly disclosed.

Ali Mohammad Eslampour, Navaye Vaght
Imprisoned: February 2, 2010

Eslampour, an editor for the newspaper Navaye Vaght in Kermanshah province and the author of a blog, was charged with "creating public anxiety" and other antistate charges. No charges or trial proceedings had been disclosed by late year, but Navaye Vaght was supportive of Mir-Hossein Mousavi during his unsuccessful 2009 presidential bid.

Ali Malihi, Etemad, Irandokht, Shahrvand-e-Emruz, and Mehrnameh
Imprisoned: February 9, 2010

Malihi, a contributor to several publications and a council member of the Iranian Students Association, was charged with several antistate counts, including "mutiny against the regime," and "insulting the president." Malihi was sentenced to a four-year prison term, which an appeals court upheld on September 27, according to the Committee of Human Rights Reporters.

Jonbesh-e-Rah-e-Sabz and others published a February petition signed by 250 civil society activists demanding Malihi's release and stating that he is a nonpartisan journalist. In a March 14 letter to Tehran's prosecutor, Malihi's father said the journalist endured severe beatings at Evin Prison, according to Advar News.

Malihicontributed to several reformist and independent publications includingEtemad, Irandokht, Shahrvand-e-Emruz, and Mehrnameh.

Hengameh Shahidi, Etemad-e-Melli
Imprisoned: February 25, 2010

Shahidi was charged with several antistate counts, including "propagating against the regime," according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

In November 2009, a Revolutionary Court sentenced her to six years and three months in prison. She was released pending appeal. The verdict was upheld on February 24, 2010, and Shahidi was taken into custody the next day, according to the Committee of Human Rights Reporters.

Shahidi worked for Mehdi Karroubi's 2009 presidential campaign and has written about Iranian and international politics, human rights, and specifically women's rights. She was known as a reformist journalist who had written many articles condemning the practice of stoning. Shahidi spent several days at Evin Prison's infirmary, according to an April 26 report on Saham News. Shahidi's lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaee, told Kalame that he has requested a retrial.

A fellow prisoner severely beat Shahidi in May as prison authorities stood by, Kalame reported. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said in September that Shahidi's mother was concerned about the journalist's deteriorating health. Shahidi was briefly released on bail so she could see medical care, but she was taken back into custody in mid-November before her treatment was completed, news reports said.

Abolfazl Abedini Nasr, Bahar Ahvaz
Imprisoned: March 3, 2010

Abedini, who frequently wrote about labor issues, was arrested in Ahvaz and transferred to Evin Prison in Tehran, according to the website of Reporters and Human Rights Activists. He was held in solitary confinement and subjected to interrogation without access to a lawyer, according to an open letter from his mother that was published on several news websites. She said he was in poor physical and psychological health.

An Ahvaz court sentenced Abedini to 11 years in prison on antistate charges, including having "contact with enemy states," the news website Jonbesh-e-Rah-e-Sabz reported in April. Abedini was not represented by a lawyer at trial. When Abedini appealed, a Khuzestan provincial appellate court would not allow his lawyer to present arguments, Kalame reported. The appeals court upheld the verdict.

In September, Human Rights House in Iran reported that Abedini had been beaten at Ahvaz Prison.

Akbar Azad, Varligh and Parpagh
Imprisoned: May 25, 2010

Azad, a prominent journalist who wrote for Varligh and Parpagh monthly magazines, covered Azeri culture, language, and history, according to Reporters and Human Rights Activists. He was arrested at his home in Tehran and transferred to a Tabriz detention facility. No charges or trial proceedings had been disclosed by late year.

In September, a website devoted to Azad's plight said he and other Azeri inmates were in dire physical condition. The website said Azad had been beaten, had suffered the loss of numerous teeth, and had been in solitary confinement for several months.

Abdolreza Tajik, freelance
Imprisoned: June 12, 2010

Tajik, a political columnist who focused on human rights, was detained two separate times in the government's 2009 crackdown on dissidents and journalists. He was arrested a third time in June 2010 after being summoned to the Intelligence Ministry, the BBC Persian service reported. Tajik had contributed to reformist and independent publications includingFath, Bonyan, Bahar, and Shargh.


No charges or trial proceedings had been disclosed by late year. Tajik's sister, Parvin, told the BBC that the journalist had been abused in custody. In November, she was sentenced to 18 months in prison herself for speaking publicly about his treatment, the BBC Persian service reported.

Siamak Ghaderi, freelance
Imprisoned: July 27, 2010

Ghaderi was arrested in connection with entries he posted on his blog, IRNA-ye maa, or Our IRNA, a reference to the Islamic Republic's official news agency. In the entries, he wrote about street protests and other developments after the contested 2009 presidential election, according to the reformist news website Jonbesh-e-Rah-e-Sabz.

Ghaderi was an editor and reporter for IRNA for 18 years until he was dismissed for writing about the 2009 election on his blog, Jonbesh-e-Rah-e-Sabz said. Pro-government news websites, among them Rasekhoon and Haghighat News, called him a "seditionist" who was arrested for "immoral" acts.

He was being held at Evin Prison, where he was under pressure to make a false confession, according to online reports. Ghaderi's blog was repeatedly blocked by authorities before he was detained, Jonbesh-e-Rah-e-Sabz reported. No formal charges had been disclosed by late year.

Navid Mohebbi, freelance
Imprisoned: September 18, 2010

Intelligence agents arrested Mohebbi, an 18-year-old blogger from Amol in northern Iran, at his home and placed him in custody at Sari Prison, the reformist news website Saham News reported. He is the youngest person on CPJ's 2010 prison census.

Mohebbi wrote about social issues, particularly women's rights, on a personal blog. Among other topics, he covered the case of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, a woman convicted of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning. He also wrote in support of the Change for Equality campaign, an effort to reform laws that discriminate against women.

On November 14, Mohebbi appeared in a Sari court to face charges of "acting against national security," "insulting the supreme leader," and "propagating against the regime," local and international media reported. Mohebbi had been questioned by security agents on several occasions beginning in 2008, the Committee of Human Rights Reporters said.

The government blocked access to his blog on at least three occasions prior to May 2010, Mohebbi wrote. Although he moved the blog to a new address, authorities appeared to have imposed a permanent block.

Two journalists working for Bild am Sonntag
Imprisoned: October 10, 2010

Two journalists working for the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag were arrested after interviewing the son of a woman convicted of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning, a case that had drawn worldwide attention. Bild am Sonntag said the journalists, an editor and a photographer, had traveled to Iran to report a story on the woman, Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani. Neither the paper nor the government disclosed the names of the journalists.

The two were initially accused of improperly entering the country on tourist visas. "The two people were not journalists – or they had no proof for it," state-run Press TV quoted judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei as saying.

In November, authorities announced that the two journalists would be charged with espionage. "The espionage charge for the two German citizens who came to Iran to stage propaganda and spying has been approved," Malekajdar Sharifi, head of the judiciary in Eastern Azerbaijan province, told the semi-official Fars News Agency. Espionage in Iran carries a possible death sentence.

Bild am Sonntag quoted Editor-in-Chief Walter Mayer as saying that "the Iranian authorities know perfectly well that they are journalists and nothing else."

Mohammad Reza Moghiseh, Bist-saleh ha
Imprisoned: October 24, 2010

Moghiseh, editor-in-chief of the magazine Bist-saleh ha and regular contributor to reformist news sites, was being held at Evin Prison, the BBC Persian service reported. Security forces raided his office and home at the time of his arrest, the reformist news website Kalame reported.

Moghiseh had been arrested in October 2009 and sentenced to six years in prison on undisclosed charges, the BBC Persian service reported. As they did with some other detainees, authorities freed Moghiseh on bail; he posted US$500,000 bail in March 2010. The reason for his rearrest was unclear.

A board member of the now-defunct Association of Iranian Journalists, Moghiseh was among a number of journalists and opposition politicians who investigated prison abuses in the aftermath of the contested 2009 presidential election. Moghiseh was a supporter of presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi.

Nazanin Khosravani, freelance
Imprisoned: November 3, 2010

Khosravani was a political columnist for several now-banned reformist newspapers, including Bahar, Doran-e Emrooz, Kargozaran, and Sarmayeh. Security officers searched her home, confiscated her audio recorder, computer, and other personal items, according to the BBC Persian service. The reformist news website Kalame said four security agents searched Khosrovani's home and threatened her family members.

Khosrovani called her family once and said she was in solitary confinement, Kalame reported. Authorities blocked family visits and ignored inquiries about her legal status and well-being. Khosrovani suffered from a heart condition for which she is under treatment. No formal charges had been disclosed by late year.

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