Category Archives: Refugees

Hossein Salmanzadeh, Iranian refugee in Turkey launches hunger strike

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Hossein Salmanzadeh, refugee in police custody in Turkey, has launched a hunger strike in protest of his request for political asylum being ignored. Salmanzadeh who has been in custody at the Turkey police detention center since April 25th is on his 4th day of hunger strike.

Hossein Salmanzadeh is a former photographer from Fars news agency who left the country due to his lack of safety after he published photographs of the mass unrest following the contested 2009 presidential election results. He went to Turkey along with other photographers and presented himself at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Eleven months later the UNHCR relocated Salmanzadeh to the United States as a refugee but due to constraints on gaining employment and very difficult living conditions, he was compelled to go back to Turkey after a few months. Upon his return to Turkey he once again presented himself at the UNHCR headquarters and requested asylum to a European country where he could make a living and survive. The UNHCR approved his request after one month but as of April 5th, no country has agreed to grant him asylum.

Hossein Salmanzadeh is an award winning photojournalist who worked for various weeklies – Iran Varzeshi, Iran Jomeh, Ham Vatan Salam, Hamshahri – along with Miras Farhangi and Fars news agencies. In 2006 Salmanzadeh was the recipient of the Kaveh Golestan Photography award for his “Murder in Southern Dibaji” photographic series.



Hossein Salmanzadeh

Kouhyar Goudarzi was on hunger strike for 17 days

Committee of Human Rights Reporters –  According to informed sources from Evin prison, human rights activist Kouhyar Goudarzi is currently held in ward 209, solitary confinement of Evin prison. Kouhyar Goudarzi was arrested along with two of his friends on July 31st, and, according to unofficial reports, he was taken to ward 240 of Evin prison but later transferred to ward 209. It is believed that Kouhyar Goudarzi was on hunger strike for 17 days to protest the intense pressures he has endured and the imprisonment of his mother Parvin Mokhtare. According to the unofficial reports, Kouhyar Goudarzi ended his hunger strike due to the deterioration of his health. However, since the Iranian authorities have remained silent on the human rights activist’s condition and location of confinement, there is no official confirmation on the details in this report.

More than two months have passed since the arrest of the CHHR member and his subsequent enforced disappearance, however, he has not been permitted to contact his family or friends, who have expressed deep concerns regarding the fact that no official information has been announced.

According to the unofficial reports, Kouhyar Goudarzi has resisted the physical and psychological pressures inflicted on him. He is said to be in good spirits, even though he has been held in solitary confinement.

Following the suicides of two of Kouhyar Goudarzi’s friends, Behnam Ganji and Nahal Sahabi, human rights activists launched a campaign to express their deep concerns over Kouhyar’s condition and unknown state. The campaign has announced gatherings in cities around the world for the month of October, in protest to the lack of information on Kouhyar Goudarzi and the illegal actions of the Iranian authorities toward him.

Parvin Mokhtare was arrested on August 1st, a day following her son’s arrest. She is awaiting her sentencing while detained in Kerman prison. She has not been provided with any information regarding her son’s state.

This is not the first instance that the courts have arrested a mother for verbally defending her child in Iran. But, it is unprecedented that a mother has to face charges, a trial, and a court verdict for speaking up about her son’s plight.

For the past two months, Parvin Mokhtare has been held among dangerous criminals in the public ward of Kerman prison. She has been deprived of her right to a lawyer and threatened by the judge with a one-year prison sentence.


Kouhyar Goudarzi