Toronto, Ontario 16 December 2014- The International Center for Human Rights (ICHR) announced today that Mr. Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand, received the ICHR’s prestigious human rights award for 2014. Although he is currently imprisoned the award recognizes his efforts to defend the right of Iranian Kurds under persecution.
After a careful review of nominations, ICHR’s Award Committee selected Mr. Kaboudvand due to his significant contribution to advancing and protecting human rights for Kurdish people in Iran and neighbouring countries.
The main speakers of the night who made remarks on the condition of human rights in the Middle East included, Willowdale M.P. C.S. Leung, Human Rights Advocate Rev. Majed Al Shafie and ICHR Exective Director Ardeshir Zarezadeh.
Unfortunately Mr. Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand could not attend the Award Ceremony since he is currently serving a jail sentence in Tehran. Regardless, ICHR Executive Director Ardeshir Zarezadeh, expressed his gratitude for Kaboudvand’s work while Ms. Ava Homa received the Award on his behalf.
During the opening speech Executive Director Ardeshir Zarezad
eh expressed his gratitude for the Canadian government’s dedication in defending human rights in Iran, Iraq, Syria and neighboring countries. He also stated a firm belief that Canada chose the right method in dealing with Dictators and Terrorists in the region.
“We urge the international community to continue their work and coordinate their efforts with locals to protect the lives of Iraqi’s and Syrians. The civilians fleeing from terrorist attacks who are in greatest danger include women, children, persons with disabilities, minorities from ethnic and religious groups. The international community must protect these people so ISIL and its associates are brought to justice.”
The ICHR’s 2013 award winners were, Mr. Alex Neve and Mr. Abdolfattah Soltani. In 2012 the organization awarded, Mr. Abbas Amir Entezam. While in 2011 Mr. Heshmatollah Tabarzadi received the first award even given out by ICHR.
Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand
The ICHR award winner, Mr. Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand is an Iranian Kurdish human rights activist and journalist. He was the editor of Payam-e Mardom magazine. Also in 2005 he became the founder of the Kurdistan Human Rights Organization. The award recipient has been in prison since June 2007 and is continuing to serve an eleven year sentence. For five tortuous months he was kept in Evin Prison’s section 209 and 240 solitary confinement.
According to human rights groups he is being held “without adequate medical care despite reportedly suffering from serious health problems.” Reports also showed that in April 2008, he suffered a stroke and was taken to a specialist for treatment. If things could not get worse, in October 2008 the Iranian court of appeal upheld Mr. Kaboudvand’s eleven year prison sentence.
Mr. Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudavand documented and reported on human rights violations in Iran’s Kurdish areas, from April 2005, when he established the organization (HROK), until the time of his arrest.
The charges he was convicted of are “acting against national security through founding of HROK,” “widespread propaganda against the state by disseminating news,” “opposing Islamic penal laws by publicizing punishments such as stoning and executions,” and “advocating on behalf of political prisoners.”
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