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Amnesty International’s campaign for release of Said Matinpour, 2012 Canada
BayBak, Azerbaijan | 403 days ago | Tuesday, 17th April , 2012 , 21:23 [pm] | Azerbaijan
|.|| Amnesty International was holding a postcard campaign to support the prisoner of conscience Sa’id Metinpour, a member of the Azerbaijani community in Iran, who is currently serving an eight-year prison sentence for his peaceful advocacy of the rights of his community in Iran.
Who is Said Matinpour?
Amnesty International was holding a postcard campaign to support the prisoner of conscience Sa’id Metinpour, a member of the Azerbaijani community in Iran, who is currently serving an eight-year prison sentence for his peaceful advocacy of the rights of his community in Iran.
Who is Said Matinpour?
Said Matinpour is an Azerbaijani human rights activist and journalist serving an eight-year jail term in Evin Prison of Tehran. Matinpour has serious health issues including digestive problems, stomach bleeding, backache, heart disease, and severe headaches. Although health condition is rapidly deteriorating, he is prevented from seeing a doctor.
In May 2007, Said Matinpour was arrested in Zanjan. He was released on bail of 5 billion Rials ($500,000) after 278 days of detention in solitary confinement. Matinpour was held in pre-trial detention by the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) in Evin Prison. He reported serious back problems and digestive difficulties after his release from prison as a result of both harsh treatment and unsanitary cell conditions. MOIS officers tortured Said Matinpour in order to obtain a video-recorded confession from him. He was not allowed access to a lawyer or visits from his family. Moreover, Iranian authorities detained his younger brother as a means to increase pressure on him.
Matinpour’s trial was not made public. He was charged with “connections to foreigners” and “propaganda against the regime” based on the confession obtained through torture. He was sentenced to eight years in prison. The appeal trial also issued the same verdict.
Atiye Taheri, Matinpour’s wife, objects to the trial and has said, “If judiciary authorities had evidence against him, why should they try him based on confessions taken during interrogations involving psychological and physical torture? Instead they should have tried him based on the evidence.”
According to Atiye Taheri, the condition of Matinpour’s health is very poor. He is being held in a section of the prison reserved for common criminals, which moreover has deplorable sanitary conditions. She explains that the prison has no medical facilities and thus he cannot receive treatment inside the prison. He is in dire need of both adequate rest and physiotherapy.
Matinpour is a graduate of Philosophy from Tehran University. He was a writer for the journals Yarpaq and Moj-e Bidari. He has also been moderating a blog called Haq (Right) in which he wrote about the ethnic discrimination policies of Iranian authorities toward Iranian Azerbaijanis. He has also written many articles about the Azerbaijani language and national rights.
Amnesty International, Reporters without Borders, Front Line and The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) released urgent action documents on his behalf. They described Matinpour as a prisoner of conscience and called for his unconditional release.adapp, Voice of a Nation