Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Uinte Nation Association of US-SFV official PR on Nomination of M.S.Kabudvand

Official Press Release
San Fernando Valley Chapter of UNA/USA
March 2011

United Nations Association of the USA - San Fernando Valley Chapter joins other human rights activists, individuals, organizations, and social and civil rights activists in support of the candidacy of Mr. Mohamad Sidigh Kaboudvand who has been nominated for the 2011 Noble Peace Prize.
This prize has previously been awarded to human rights activists and defenders such as Liu Xiaobo, "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China," (awarded in absentia as a prisoner in the People's Republic of China.); as well as Aung San Suu Kyi, "for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights,"(Awarded in absentia as a prisoner by the government of Myanmar.); and to the prominent Iranian lawyer Mrs. Shirin Ebadi, "for her efforts for democracy and human rights, especially the struggle for the rights of women and children.”
The United Nations Association of the USA-SFV strongly believes that Mr. Mohamad Sidigh Kaboudvand deserves the Noble Peace Prize for his life’s work reporting on and defending the human rights of the Kurds and other disadvantaged minorities in Iran. He has risked his life in defense of others, and remains a prisoner of conscious in an Iranian prison, subjected to severe conditions.

Mr. Mohamad Sedigh Kaboudvand is a prominent human rights defender, journalist, and 2005 founder of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan (HROK), a group that seeks to protect the rights of Iranian Kurds. The organization grew to include 200 local reporters throughout the Iranian Kurdish region, allowing it to provide detailed and timely reports from throughout the region, published in the now-banned magazine, Payam-e Mardom (Message of the People). Mr. Kaboudvand was director of this magazine, which reported the systematic violation of human rights in Iran, particularly against the Kurdish minority. In addition Mr. Kaboudvand was instrumental in creating a civil society network for Kurdish youth and activists. He has authored three books, Nimeh-ye Digar ("The Other Half," a book on women's rights); Barzakh-e Democracy ("The Stuggle for Democracy"); and Jonbesh-e Ejtemaii ("Social Movements"). He is the recipient of international awards such as the 2009 Hellman/Hammett, awarded by Human Rights Watch to writers punished by their governments for expressing opposition views and/or writing about topics that the government does not want reported. Most recently in January of this year he was recognized as the International Journalist of the Year by The Press Gazette British Press Awards.
Intelligence agents arrested Kaboudvand on July 1, 2007, and kept him in solitary confinement for seven consecutive months without a trial. It has since been reported that he has been subjected to severe torture and inhumane acts with little access to urgently needed medical care. His solitary confinement was followed by a harsh life sentence, reduced to ten years in prison after appeal. He has remained active even in confinement and continues to report on the conditions of prisoners in his position.

The UNA SFV Chapter is supporting the nomination of Mr. Mohamd Sedigh Kaboudvand for the 2011 Noble Peace Prize. Our Chapter believes that aside from honoring the achievements and work of an individual activist, this nomination will also serve to shed light on the conditions of prisoners and dire human rights violations of ethnic minorities in Iran.

David FrancisTuckman
Co president of United Nations Association of the USA-SFVC
Virginia Hatfield
Co president of United Nations Association of the USA-SFVC
Soraya Fallah
Contact person and Vice President Programming of United Nations Association of the USA-SFVC

No comments: