Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Saeed Matinpour, jailed journalist and political activist was granted visitation in prison today, July 29 after spending about 3 years of his sentence behind bars.
According to CHRR, on July 18 Saeed Matinpour and a number of other political prisoners at Evin prison were transferred to solitary confinement after about 150 officers violently raided the men’s public Ward 350 of the prison. This led to 6 prisoners launching a hunger strike in support of Matinpour, demanding that he be released from solitary confinement and returned to the public ward. The six prisoners who went on hunger strike were Saeed Jalalifar (CHRR member), Saeed Haeri (former CHRR member), Reza Shahabi, Soroush Sabet, Fereydoun Seydirad and Vahid Ali Ghalipour.
The hunger-striking prisoners ended their strike after 4 days when their demands were met and Saeed Matinpour was transferred from Ward 240 back to Ward 350 in Evin prison. Today, one week after his return to the public ward, Saeed Matinpour was finally granted visitation with his family.
Saeed Matinpour, a philosophy major at Tehran University is a civil activist involved in Azerbaijan ethnic rights, and journalist who wrote in Zanjan Newspaper. He was arrested on May 25, 2007 and subjected to harsh interrogations while held in solitary confinement for nine months, leading to back and neck problems. He was handed an 8-year prison sentence by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Salavati on the charges of “connection with foreign entities,” and “propaganda against the regime.” Even though Matinpour has spent more than half of his prison term behind bars in Evin prison, he has been barred from his legal right to furlough despite many requests on the part of his family. He is now serving his prison term in Ward 350 of Evin prison.