Last Updated: Thursday, 23 October 2014, 08:40 GMT

Annual Prison Census 2012 - Iran

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date 11 December 2012
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Annual Prison Census 2012 - Iran, 11 December 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/50c702802d.html [accessed 23 October 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, 2012

Iran: 45

Adnan Hassanpour, Aso
Imprisoned: January 25, 2007

Security agents seized Hassanpour, 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 anti-state 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. Hassanpour, 32, was being held at Sanandaj Central Prison in Kurdistan Province. He has not been allowed furlough, news reports said.

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 charged Kaboudvand, head of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan and managing editor of the weekly Payam-e-Mardom, with 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 in 2008.

Kaboudvand's health continued to deteriorate in 2012. Based on their visits and consultation with a prison physician, family members believed Kaboudvand has suffered significant heart problems while in custody, his wife, Farinaz Baghban Hassani told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. He has repeatedly been denied requests for medical leave and family visits, news reports said. He has also suffered from severe dizziness, disruption of speech and vision, and disorders in his limb movements.

Kaboudvand, 49, has waged several hunger strikes, the latest in June 2012, to protest authorities' refusal to grant him a furlough to see his son who was diagnosed with leukemia, according to news reports. Despite his repeated attempts, prison authorities, refused all of his furlough requests.

Mojtaba Lotfi, freelance
Imprisoned: October 8, 2008

A clergyman and blogger, Lotfi was arrested by security forces on a warrant issued by the 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 articles or publications in which the views were supposedly cited. In November 2009, Lotfi was convicted of several charges, including spreading anti-state information, and sentenced him to four years in prison followed by a period of exile, according to online reports.

In July 2010, the Human Rights House of Iran reported that Lotfi had been transferred to the remote village of Ashtian for 10 years of enforced internal exile. Lotfi, an Iran-Iraq War veteran who was exposed to chemical agents, suffers from a respiratory illness that has worsened during his confinement, the reformist news website Norooz News reported.

Hossein Derakhshan, freelance
Imprisoned: November 2008

On December 30, 2008, a judiciary spokesman confirmed at 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 word of his detention was first reported on November 17, 2008, by Jahan News, a website close to the Iranian intelligence service. The site claimed Derakhshan 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 decade prior to his detention, 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.

In September 2010, 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 much 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. In 2011 and 2012, Derakhshan was allowed short-term furloughs.

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 had also been a supporter of the defeated 2009 presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi and had served as director of the politically active Organization of University Alumni of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

On November 23, 2009, Zaid-Abadi was sentenced to six years in prison, five years of internal exile in Khorasan province, and a "lifetime deprivation of any political activity" including "interviews, speeches, and analysis of events, whether in written or oral form," according to the Persian service of the German public news organization Deutsche Welle. 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. Zaid-Abadi's wife, Mahdieh Mohammadi, said prison conditions were crowded and unsanitary, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported. She said she feared malnutrition and the spread of disease.

In August 2011 and July 2012, Zaid-Abadi was granted short furloughs after posting large bail sums, according to reformist news websites. He was awarded the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize in 2011 and the World Association of Newspapers' Golden Pen of Freedom Award in 2010.

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 in 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 November 2010, Samimi was transferred to Rajaee Shahr Prison in Karaj, which houses violent criminals, according to news reports. Samimi suffers from liver problems, which have worsened in custody. He was hospitalized in March 2012 for treatment.

In September 2012, authorities at Rajaee Shahr Prison placed Samimi and fellow journalist Massoud Bastani in solitary confinement for several days after a photograph of the two detainees was published on the reformist news website Kaleme, the outlet reported. Since his arrest, Samimi has been allowed furlough only once. He has gone on hunger strike several times to protest prison conditions and prisoner treatment.

Bahman Ahmadi Amouee, freelance
Imprisoned: June 19, 2009

Amouee, a contributor to reformist newspapers such as Mihan, Hamshahri, Jame'e, Khordad, Norooz, and Shargh, and the author of an eponymous blog, was arrested with his wife, journalist Zhila Bani-Yaghoub, according to news reports. In January 2010, Amouee was sentenced to 34 lashes, along with seven years and four months in prison. In March of the same year, an appeals court reduced the prison sentence to five years, according to Rooz Online.

Amouee was being held in Evin Prison, according to news reports, with part of his term served in solitary confinement. In July 2010, 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.

In June 2012, authorities transferred Amouee to Rajaee Shahr Prison, where violent criminals are held. Later that same month he was transferred to solitary confinement for several days, according to the BBC Persian service.

His wife, 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 but was later sentenced to one year in prison on anti-state charges. She began serving her term at Evin Prison in September 2012, according to news reports.

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 in September 2010 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 Zamaneh, 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. But as the regime took a more conservative bent, Saharkhiz was forced to leave the ministry and was eventually banned from government service. He founded a reformist newspaper, Akhbar-e-Eghtesad, and a monthly magazine, Aftab, both of which were eventually banned. He wrote articles directly critical of 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.

Over the course of his prison term, Saharkhiz has suffered from poor health including blood pressure, spine, and neck problems. He was hospitalized for treatment of a heart condition in February 2012; authorities moved him back to Evin Prison in August against the wishes of his doctor, news reports said. Saharkhiz began refusing food and medication in September 2012 to protest his transfer back to prison, according to reformist news websites. After 22 days on hunger strike, Saharkhiz suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized in state custody, his son told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

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

Bastani, a journalist with Farhikhtegan, a reformist newspaper, and Jomhoriyat, a news website affiliated with the defeated 2009 presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi, was arrested when he went to a Tehran court seeking information about his wife, journalist Mahsa Amrabadi, who had been detained, according to local news reports.

Bastani was among more than 100 opposition figures and journalists who faced a mass, televised judicial proceeding in August 2009 on vague anti-state accusations, according to news reports. On October 20, 2009, the news website 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 was being held at Rajaee Shahr Prison, a facility reserved for hardened criminals, according to the reformist daily Etemad. In July 2010, Bastani's family told reporters that he had suffered an infection in his jaw that had gone untreated in prison, the Human Rights House of Iran reported. Authorities restricted Bastani's family visits to once every two weeks.

In September 2012, authorities at Rajaee Shahr Prison placed Bastani and fellow journalist Kayvan Samimi in solitary confinement for several days after a photograph of the two detainees was published on the reformist news website Kaleme, the outlet reported.

His wife, Amrabadi, was later sentenced to one year in prison on anti-state charges. She began serving her term in Evin Prison in May 2012, news reports said.

Saeed Matin-Pour, freelance
Imprisoned: July 12, 2009

Matin-Pour, a journalist who wrote for his own blog and for the newspapers Yar Pag and Mouj Bidari in western Azerbaijan province, was first arrested in May 2007. Released on bail, he was re-arrested in July 2009 amid the government's massive crackdown on dissidents and the press.

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

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, according to news reports. Matin-Pour spent much of his imprisonment in solitary confinement amid abusive treatment, leading to heart and respiratory problems, reformist news websites reported.

In September 2012, Taheri told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that Matin-Pour had been kept in solitary confinement for months, interrogated, and tortured. Matin-Pour has not been allowed furlough.

Mohammad Davari, Saham News
Imprisoned: September 5, 2009

Davari, editor-in-chief of Saham News, a website affiliated with the defeated 2009 presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi, was charged with several anti-state 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 News and 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.

In mid-2011, Davari was sentenced to an additional year in prison, allegedly for his participation in teacher protests in 2006, reformist news websites reported. In September 2012, Davari was stripped naked and searched as he re-entered Evin Prison after a short visit to a hospital for a medical exam, according to reformist news websites. The journalist developed an acute psychological illness in prison and suffered from chest pains and a heart condition, his brother Bijan Davari told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran in March. Davari has been denied furlough, his brother told the campaign.

In recognition of his exemplary journalism, CPJ honored Davari with its International Press Freedom Award in November 2010.

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, reformist news websites reported.

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 the German public news organization Deutsche Welle. Mahmoudian's mother, Fatemeh Alvandi, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran in April 2011 that her son developed epilepsy while in prison and was in dire physical and psychological condition. Mahmoudian was hospitalized in October 2011 but returned to prison the next month, according to reformist news websites.

In January 2012, Mahmoudian was severely beaten by prison guards and interrogators inside the prison ward for writing letters to authorities reporting prison abuse, according to the reformist news website Jonbesh-e-Rah-e-Sabz. Mahmoudian passed out as a result of the beatings and was transferred to the Evin Prison infirmary, where he underwent treatment. In March 2012, Mahmoudian was returned to Rajaee Shahr Prison, according to reformist news websites.

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

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

In October 2010, a Revolutionary Court sentenced Ronaghi Maleki to 15 years in prison on anti-state conspiracy charges, the reformist news website Jonbesh-e-Rah-e-Sabz reported. The first year of his term was served largely in solitary confinement, defense lawyer Mohammad Ali Dadkhah told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

Ronaghi Maleki's family said the journalist was in poor health and developed severe kidney problems, according to the campaign. In May 2011, Ronaghi Maleki was transferred to a hospital in hand and ankle cuffs, where he underwent kidney surgery, the campaign reported. He was hospitalized in custody again in October 2011, when he underwent additional kidney surgery, the Human Rights House of Iran reported.

In February 2012, a Revolutionary Court refused to grant a medical furlough that would have allowed Ronaghi Maleki to seek independent kidney treatment, reformist news websites said. After Ronaghi Maleki posted a US$1 million bond in July, the court agreed to release him so he could undergo surgery, according to reformist news websites. He was placed back in Evin Prison in September, although follow-up treatment had yet to be completed, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

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

Abedini, who wrote about labor issues for the provincial weekly, was arrested in Ahvaz and transferred to Evin Prison in Tehran, according to the website of Reporters and Human Rights Activists.

An Ahvaz court sentenced Abedini to 11 years in prison on anti-state charges that included having "contact with enemy states," the reformist news website Jonbesh-e-Rah-e-Sabz reported in April 2011. Abedini was not represented by a lawyer at trial. When Abedini appealed, a Khuzestan provincial appellate court would not allow a defense lawyer to present arguments, the reformist website Kalame reported. The appeals court upheld the verdict.

In September 2010, Human Rights House in Iran reported that Abedini had been beaten at Ahvaz Prison. He was transferred to Tehran's Evin Prison later that same month, the group reported. On May 4, 2011, a Revolutionary Court judge sentenced Abedini to an additional year in prison on the charge of "propagating against the regime," Human Rights House reported. The basis for the additional charge was not disclosed.

Abedini suffered severe abdominal pain, the reformist news website Kaleme reported in August 2012. Authorities denied his request for an independent medical examination, the reformist news website added.

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.

In January 2011, Ghaderi was sentenced to four years in prison and 60 lashes on charges of "propagating against the regime," "creating public anxiety," and "spreading falsehoods," according to the BBC's Farsi service.

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. Ghaderi's blog was repeatedly blocked by authorities before he was detained, Jonbesh-e-Rah-e-Sabz reported.

Among the entries that authorities found objectionable was a piece in which Ghaderi interviewed several Iranian homosexuals. The article was an apparent reaction to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's public assertion that "there are no homosexuals in Iran." The lashes in his sentence were for "cooperating with homosexuals," the BBC reported. The reformist news website Kaleme reported in July 2011 that Ghaderi was being held at Evin Prison.

In August 2012, Ghaderi told his wife that he and 13 political prisoners had been lashed, according to the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Ghaderi has not been allowed furlough since his arrest.

Mohammad Reza Pourshajari (Siamak Mehr), freelance
Imprisoned: September 12, 2010

Pourshajari, a journalistic blogger who wrote under the penname Siamak Mehr, was arrested at his home in Karaj, outside Tehran, according to news and human rights websites. In his blog Gozaresh be Khaak-e-Iran (Reports to the Soil of Iran), Pourshajari was critical of Iran's theological state.

In an open letter dated December 2010, published by the Human Rights and Democracy Activists of Iran, Pourshajari described his arrest and subsequent detention. He said intelligence agents confiscated a computer hard drive, satellite receiver, and numerous documents. Pourshajari was taken to Rajaee Shahr Prison, where interrogators tortured him and subjected him to a mock execution, he wrote. Pourshajari said he was not allowed visitors, phone calls, or access to a lawyer.

In December 2010, Pourshajari was sentenced to three years in prison on charges of "propagating against the regime" and "insulting the supreme leader," Human Rights Activists for Democracy in Iran reported. In October 2011, Pourshajari was transferred to Ghezel Hessar Prison, where hardened criminals are confined, the group said.

In April 2012, the Karaj Revolutionary Court sentenced Pourshajari to an additional year in prison on blasphemy charges, bringing his total sentence to four years in prison. Pourshajari has refused to file appeals, citing the lack of due process rights in the judicial system.

Arash Honarvar Shojaei, freelance
Imprisoned: October 28, 2010

Nearly a year after Shojaei was first jailed, a special clerical court sentenced the blogger and cleric to four years in prison and 50 lashes on October 2, 2011, on multiple charges of "acting against national security," "espionage," and "cooperation with foreign embassies," the reformist news outlet Radio Zamaneh reported.

Shojaei was author of the book, Madar-e-Shari'at, about the dissident cleric, Ayatollah Mohammad Kazem Shariatmadari, according to Radio Zamaneh. Shariatmadari had opposed the principle of velayat-e-faqih, which seeks to convey unlimited power to the supreme leader.

Shojaei was being held at Evin Prison, where he endured torture and several months of solitary confinement, according to Human Rights House of Iran and Radio Zamaneh. The journalist suffered from a heart condition, a hearing impairment, epilepsy, brain atrophy, spinal disc problems, and diabetes, all developed while in prison, reformist news websites said.

He was granted a medical furlough in November 2011 but was summoned back to Evin Prison in January 2012 before treatment had been completed, news reports said. Shojaei waged multiple hunger strikes to protest his treatment. In September, he was hospitalized after suffering a heart attack and seizure, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

Fereydoun Seydi Rad, freelance
Imprisoned: March 2, 2011

Seydi Rad, a journalistic blogger, was being held in Evin Prison after being convicted of "propagating against the regime" on his blog, Arak Green Revolution. Seydi Rad wrote about the pro-democracy movement, student protests, and labor strikes in the city of Arak.

A Revolutionary Court in Tehran also convicted Seydi Rad on anti-state charges related to taking part in a 2010 protest and attending the 2009 funeral of Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, the prominent cleric who had criticized President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's positions. The court imposed a total sentence of three years when it handed down the verdict in August 2011.

Seydi Rad's 2011 arrest was not disclosed for several months, according to news accounts. His sister, Faranak Seydi, told the reformist news website Jonbesh-e-Rah-e-Sabz that family members had maintained silence because they feared reprisals. The Committee of Human Rights Reporters, a leading organization of journalists who document human rights abuses, said Seydi Rad faced 43 days of interrogation and solitary confinement after being arrested.

Alireza Rajaee, freelance
Imprisoned: April 23, 2011

Rajaee, a leader of Iran's Journalists Association and editor for several reformist publications, was being held at Evin Prison, according to reformist news outlets. He was summoned to serve a previously suspended three-year term that dated to a 2001 case in which he was convicted of "acting against national security."

While in prison, Rajaee signed a number of letters calling for free elections and protesting detention conditions, which led to new charges of "propagating against the regime," news reports said. In February 2012, he was sentenced to an additional four years in prison.

Rajaee served as a politics editor and editorial board member for several reformist publications, including Jame'eh, Iran-e-Farda, Payam-e-Hajar, and Iran Political.

Mehrdad Sarjoui, Iran News
Imprisoned: July 2011

A Revolutionary Court in Tehran sentenced Sarjoui, who covered international news for the English-language daily Iran News and other publications, to 10 years in prison on charges of "cooperating with enemy states," according to the reformist news site Kaleme. He was being held at Evin Prison in late year.

Sarjoui had previously worked in the international relations department of the government's Strategic Research Center, according to the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Staff members for the research agency had access to politically sensitive material, which placed them under intense scrutiny by government security agents.

Alireza Behshti Shirazi, Kalameh Sabz
Imprisoned: July 10, 2011

Authorities summoned Shirazi, editor-in-chief of the now-defunct reformist daily Kalameh Sabz, to serve a five-year prison sentence at Evin Prison, according to reformist news websites.

Shirazi was first arrested in December 2009 and transferred to solitary confinement at Evin and later sentenced to five years in prison on charges of "acting against national security," according to reformist news websites. He was released on bail in October 2010, news reports said.

Kalemeh Sabz was one of the initial post-election Green Movement publications, which criticized the regime's policies, according to news reports. In December 2009, security forces raided the newspaper's offices and arrested all of its staff members, CPJ research shows.

Ahmadreza Ahmadpour, freelance
Imprisoned: July 18, 2011

Ahmadpour, a journalist, blogger, and researcher at Qom Seminary, was serving a three-year term at Yazd Prison on anti-state charges stemming from a letter he wrote to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, according to reformist news websites. In the letter, written in 2010 while he was serving an earlier prison term, Ahmadpour protested abuses of his rights. The Qom Special Clerics Court also imposed 10 years of exile, defrocking, and deprivation of any clerical position, according to the same reports.

His earlier arrest came in December 2009. He was sentenced to one year in prison on charges of "acting against national security" and "violating the dignity of the clergy" in his writings, according to reformist news websites. Ahmadpour was a student of Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, the now-deceased cleric who had criticized President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's positions.

A disabled Iran-Iraq War veteran, Ahmadpour suffers from respiratory problems due to exposure to chemical warfare. His respiratory condition has worsened and he now suffers cardiac problems due to harsh prison conditions and lack of medical care, according to reformist news websites.

Saeed Jalalifar, Committee of Human Rights Reporters
Imprisoned: July 31, 2011

Jalalifar, who had reported on child labor and political prisoner issues for the committee, was first arrested in December 2009 on charges of "propaganda against the regime." He was free on bail for more than a year before being summoned back to Evin Prison in July 2011, the BBC Persian service reported.

The opposition website Pars Daily News reported that Branch 28 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced Jalalifar to three years in prison on charges of "propaganda against the regime," and "assembly and collusion with the intent to act against national security."

Numerous journalists working for the Committee of Human Rights Reporters have been detained for varying periods of time since 2009 in connection with their work in exposing human rights violations and government malfeasance. In June 2012, Jalalifar and four other political detainees waged a hunger strike to protest abusive treatment by prison guards, according to the reformist news website Kaleme.

Morteza Moradpour, Yazligh
Imprisoned: August 26, 2011

Moradpour, who wrote for Yazligh, a children's magazine, was 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.

Moradpour was first 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. Two issues of Yazligh were used as evidence in the trial against him, the news website Bizim Tabriz reported. In November 2009, Moradpour was sentenced to three years in prison, Azeri news websites reported. He was released on the equivalent of US$50,000 bail in late 2010, according to Baybak, a local Azeri news website. (The practice of releasing convicted inmates on bail or furlough is common in Iranian jurisprudence.)

Based on the original conviction, Moradpour was re-arrested on August 26, 2011, after taking part in protests related to the environmental degradation of Lake Orumiyeh in northwestern Iran, reformist news websites reported. He was being held in Tabriz Central Prison as of late year.

Omid Behroozi, Majzooban-e-Noor
Reza Entessari, Majzooban-e-Noor
Amir Eslami, Majzooban-e-Noor
Afshin Karampour, Majzooban-e-Noor
Hamid Moradi, Majzooban-e-Noor
Farshid Yadollahi, Majzooban-e-Noor
Imprisoned: September 5, 2011

Authorities arrested at least 30 members of the religious minority Gonabadi Dervishes following a confrontation with plainclothes agents in the town of Kavar in Fars province, a spokesman for the group told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Among the detainees were a number of journalists for Majzooban-e-Noor, a website that reported news about the group, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran and the reformist news website Rooz Online.

Six of the website staffers were among those who remained in prison when CPJ conducted its annual census on December 1, 2012. Majzooban-e-Noor said agents had targeted the journalists in an effort to silence news coverage about the group. In September 2012, the Human Rights House of Iran reported that the journalists were being held at Evin Prison, but no formal charges had been disclosed.

Saeed Madani, freelance
Imprisoned: January 7, 2012

Security forces arrested Madani, a former editorial board member of the long-defunct Iran-e-Farda magazine and former editor-in-chief of the quarterly Refah-e-Ejtemaee (Journal of Social Welfare), and confiscated a computer hard drive from his home, news reports said.

The journalist, 74, was placed in solitary confinement after his arrest, Madani's wife told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran in March 2012. His wife also said their family had not been told of his condition in prison or any charges against him. The reformist news website Kaleme reported that Madani had been subjected to violent and abusive interrogations.

Saeed Razavi Faghih, freelance
Imprisoned: January 17, 2012

Authorities arrested Faghih at Tehran airport as he arrived from Paris, where he maintained a home, according to news reports. Faghih, who wrote for reformist publications Sobh-e-Emrooz, Bahar, Doran-e-Emrooz, and Vaghaye Etefaghieh, and the English-language news website Rooz Online, was being held in Evin Prison, news reports said.

The journalist was first arrested while visiting Iran in 2009 but was released on bail after 16 days, according to news reports. He was later tried in absentia on charges of "propagating against the regime" and sentenced to four years in prison. In March 2012, the journalist suffered from a heart attack and was hospitalized for treatment, according to news reports.

Kasra Nouri, Majzooban-e-Noor
Imprisoned: March 14, 2012

Nouri, a reporter for the news website Majzooban-e-Noor, was charged with "propagating against the regime" and having unlawful contact with U.S. government-funded Radio Farda, according to his employer. His family knew nothing about his whereabouts or condition until a month after his arrest, when they discovered he was being held at the Shiraz Intelligence Office's Detention Center, his mother Shokoofeh Yadollahi told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. After repeated attempts, she said, they were allowed to visit him.

Nouri awaited trial in late year on the initial counts. In a separate proceeding, the Shiraz Criminal Court convicted Nouri "creating public anxiety" and "publishing falsehoods," in connection with his work, according to Majzooban-e-Noor. The court sentenced him to one year in prison on those counts.

Majzooban-e-Noor covers news about the Gonabadi Dervishes religious community. Nouri had reported that security and intelligence forces had incited local residents to attack the Dervishes during a September 2011 confrontation, causing one death and injuries to several others, according to Majzooban-e-Noor. Many Dervishes, including several other journalists with Majzooban-e-Noor, were imprisoned immediately after the 2011 crackdown.

Nouri has developed respiratory problems during his imprisonment, according to reformist news websites.

Reza Ansari Rad, freelance
Imprisoned: May 3, 2012

Rad, former editor-in-chief of the reformist news website Aftab and a freelance contributor to reformist newspapers such as Bahar and Nowruz, was summoned to serve a one-year term in Evin Prison, according to Iran's Committee of Human Rights Reporters.

A Tehran Revolutionary Court had imposed the sentence in September 2011 on charges of "propagating against the regime," news reports said. Rad, who wrote primarily about politics and art, was in poor physical condition and suffered epileptic seizures while in custody, news reports said.

Mahsa Amrabadi, freelance
Imprisoned: May 9, 2012

Amrabadi, a reporter for several reformist publications including Etemad-e-Melli, was summoned to Evin Prison women's ward to serve a one-year prison sentence, according to reformist news websites.

Amrabadi was first arrested in June 2009 and released two months later on bail of US$200,000, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. In October 2010, Amrabadi was sentenced to one-year in prison and a four-year suspended term on charges of "propaganda against the regime," according to reformist news websites. In February 2012, an appeals court upheld her sentence. She was arrested again briefly in February 2011 and released on bail, according to news reports.

Her husband, Massoud Bastani, who is also a journalist, is serving a six-year prison term at Rajaee Shahr Prison, CPJ research shows. Since Bastani and Amrabadi are held in different prisons, they cannot visit each other.

Fariborz Raisdana, freelance
Imprisoned: May 21, 2012

Security forces summoned Raisdana, an economics analyst and contributor to Kar-o-Kargar and Ava-ye Kar, to Evin Prison to start serving a one-year prison term. The publications focus on labor issues.

Raisdana was first arrested in December 2010 after he gave an interview to the BBC Persian service criticizing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's economic subsidy cuts, news reports said. Released on bail, he was sentenced in May 2011 to a year in prison on charges of "propagating against the regime," according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

Rahman Bouzari, Shargh
Imprisoned: June 2012

Authorities summoned Bouzari, an editor for the reformist daily Shargh and contributor to several reformist news websites, to serve a two-year prison term, according to reformist news websites.

Bouzari was initially arrested in late May 2011, according to reformist news websites. Security forces raided his Tehran home and confiscated his laptop and other personal belongings, news reports said. Released on bail, he was later sentenced to two years in prison and 74 lashes by a Tehran Revolutionary Court on charges of "propagating against the regime," the reports said.

Said Moghaneli, Yashmagh, Yarpagh and Dilmaj
Imprisoned: June 26, 2012

Moghaneli, editor-in-chief of the banned Azeri-language publications Yashmagh and Yarpagh and the banned monthly literary publication Dilmaj, was serving a six-month term in Tabriz Prison, according to reformist news websites.

Moghaneli, a frequent contributor to other Azeri-language magazines and newspapers, was convicted on charges of "propagating against the regime" in his journalistic work and in interviews with foreign media. Moghaneli told his family that was being held in a ward for drug-addicted detainees, news reports said.

Nassour Naghipour, Human Rights Activists News Agency
Imprisoned: July 9, 2012

Naghipour, a reporter and web editor for the Human Rights Activists News Agency, was serving a seven-year term at Evin Prison on anti-state charges related to his work in documenting violations of human rights, according to news reports.

Naghipour, 30, also established and managed a website that collected Farsi articles in different areas of humanities, philosophy, politics, and literature, according to reformist news websites.

Zhila Bani-Yaghoub, Sarmayeh
Imprisoned: September 2, 2012

Bani-Yaghoub, a former editor of the banned reformist daily Sarmayeh and editor-in-chief of the Iranian Women's Club, a news website focusing on women's rights, began serving a one-year prison term in September 2012 in Evin Prison's women's ward, according to news reports. She had been sentenced in 2010 on charges of "propagating against the regime," and "insulting the president," for articles she wrote during the June 2009 contested presidential elections. Her sentence also included a 30-year ban on practicing journalism.

Bani-Yaghoub was first arrested in June 2009 with her husband, Bahman Ahmadi Amouee, a journalist who had contributed to several reformist newspapers. Bani-Yaghoub was released on bail in August 2009, but Amouee remained in prison and was sentenced to a five-year term on anti-state charges.

In 2009, Bani-Yaghoub was awarded the Courage in Journalism Prize by the International Women's Media Foundation and in 2010 was a recipient of the Freedom of Speech Award from Reporters Without Borders.

Shiva Nazar Ahari, Committee of Human Rights Reporters
Imprisoned: September 8, 2012

Nazar Ahari, a blogger and founding member of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters, a leading organization of journalists documenting human rights abuses, was summoned by authorities to begin serving her prison sentence in the women's ward of Tehran's Evin Prison, the committee reported.

In 2010, Ahari was sentenced to six years in prison on charges of moharebeh, or "waging war against God," "propagating against the regime," and "acting against national security" for reporting on political gatherings, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. In January 2011, an appeals court reduced her sentence to four years in prison and 74 lashes, news reports said.

Ahari was first arrested in June 2009 and spent several months in Evin Prison, including time in solitary confinement, news reports said. She was a 2011 recipient of the Theodor Haecker Prize for "courageous Internet reporting on human rights violations."

Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani, Zan
Imprisoned: September 22, 2012

Rafsanjani, former editor of the banned reformist daily Zan and daughter of former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, was summoned to serve a six-month prison term at Evin Prison, according to the reformist news website Saham News.

In January 2012, Branch 15 of Tehran's Revolutionary Court, which has tried hundreds of cases of detainees arrested in the June 2009 presidential election aftermath, also sentenced Rafsanjani to a five-year ban on political, cultural, and press activities on charges of "propagating against the regime," according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Rafsanjani's charges stem from an interview she gave to the reformist news website Rooz Online in which she said "the country is managed by thugs and plainclothes forces who are bought with money, positions, and clout," the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency reported.

Ali Akbar Javanfekr, Iranian News Agency
Imprisoned: September 24, 2012

Javanfekr, director of the official Iranian news agency IRNA, was summoned to serve a six-month prison sentence in Evin Prison, according to news reports. Javanfekr, also head of IRNA's print affiliate, Iran, as well as press adviser to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, had been sentenced in November 2011 to two six-month prison terms and a three-year ban on press activities, news reports said. An appeals court tossed out one of his six-month sentences in August 2012, IRNA reported.

Javanfekr had been convicted of publishing content "contrary to Islamic standards" and "publishing obscene content." He had written in an official publication that the practice of women wearing the chador – a head-to-toe cover – was not an authentic Iranian one, but had instead been adopted from other Muslim countries, news reports said. The comment not only angered Iranian clerics, it came amid an ongoing feud between supporters of the president and those of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Mehdi Khazali, freelance
Imprisoned: October 30, 2012

Khazali, a critical blogger, was sentenced in February 2012 to 14 years in prison, 10 years in exile, and 90 lashes after being convicted of "insulting the supreme leader," according to human rights groups. Authorities summoned Khazali to Evin Prison in October to begin serving the sentence, reformist news websites said.

He was initially arrested in January 2012. His wife told the reformist news website Jonbesh-e Rah-e Sabz that he was beaten during the arrest and suffered a fractured arm, broken teeth, and a knee injury. He was held in solitary confinement in Evin for three weeks until he was transferred to the prison's general population, news reports said. In late February, Khazali suffered a heart attack while waging a hunger strike and was taken to a Tehran hospital for treatment, according to news reports. He was issued a furlough in March.

Khazali, the son of a high-ranking cleric, had criticized the regime on his blog, which has since been hacked, CPJ research shows.

Alireza Roshan, Shargh
Imprisoned: November 18, 2012

Roshan, a reporter for the reformist daily Shargh, was summoned to Evin Prison to serve a one-year prison term, according to the reformist news website Kaleme.

Roshan was initially arrested in September 2011 following violent confrontations between plainclothes security forces and Gonabadi Dervishes in Fars Province, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Roshan spent more than a month in solitary confinement in Evin Prison before he was released on bail, according to reformist news websites.

In October, a Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced Roshan to one year in prison and a four-year suspended prison term for his cooperation with the Majzooban-e Noor news website on charges of "assembly and collusion with the intent to disrupt national security," reformist news websites said.

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