Career

Journalist, human rights activist and Kurdish ethnic activist.

Charges

Acting against national security
Disturbing public opinion
Insulting the Supreme Leader
Moharebeh (waging war against God)
Spreading propaganda against the holy Islamic Republic

Sentence

5 years in prison and 2 years in exile

Status

In prison

Khosro Kordpour In prison

Journalist and Kurdish activist Khosro Kordpour was arrested with his brother Massoud for his work as editor of the news site Mukerian. He was forced to spend several months in detention without being granted a lawyer, and currently serving a five-year sentence in a prison in Tabriz.

Khosro Kordpour, founder of the Mukerian news website, was arrested on March 7, 2013. According to his brother Massoud Kordpour, agents from the Intelligence Bureau of Mahabad, a Kurdish town in the province of West Azarbaijan, burst in while Khosro was at the dentist and took him to his home, where they beat him as his house was searched; his laptop and cellphone were confiscated.

Kordpour and his brother spent four months in detention without being formally charged. At one point, Khosro went on hunger strike to protest against the situation. On June 27, they were informed of the charges against them, but without a lawyer present. After 150 days in detention, their trial was held for the second time at the same court. According to eyewitnesses, the two brothers were restrained as they were brought into court; the judge ignored the objections of the brothers’ lawyers. Khosro argued in his own defense that his actions as editor of Mukerian were legal according to Iranian Press Law and that everything published on the site was both true and published without malicious intent.

The judge ruled against him, sentencing him to five years in prison for conspiracy against the state and one year for propaganda against the regime. The court also sentenced him to two years in exile in Kerman and said he must serve out his sentence in Tabriz in the East Azarbaijan province for “security reasons.” Osman Mozayan, one of the brothers’ lawyers, objected to the verdict on the basis that exile would hurt the whole Kordpour family, thereby violating the principle that only the guilty individual should be punished. However the appeals court upheld the verdict, even though Kordpour does not speak Turkish, which is the most widely-used language in Kerman.

On November 20, 2013, the United Nation’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) called for the release of the Kordpour brothers. WGAD found that their trial was “flawed in a number of respects from an international human rights law perspective” and pointed out a variety of violations, including “the inordinate delay in according them access to a lawyer, the 45-day delay in commencing interrogation and the jurisdiction of the court” before which they were tried. On March 19, 2014 security agents quickly transferred Kordpour to Tabriz without informing his family or lawyers and without allowing him to get together his personal belongings. While in detention, Khosro Kordpour was known as “the father of Kurdish political prisoners” by the families of other inmates because he stood up for them and tried to improve their living conditions.

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