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Mehdi Mahmoudian

HRD, Journalist, Blogger

Mehdi Mahmoudian is a human rights defender, a political journalist and blogger, who has previously served a five-year prison term (2009-2014) on charges of “mutiny against the regime” for his role in documenting complaints of rape and abuse of detainees at the Kahrizak Detention Center. The detention center was closed in July 2009 after Mahmoudian and others documented the pervasive abuse. Mahmoudian also worked with the Center for the Defense of Prisoners’ Rights.

Hope for political reform in Iran surfaced when President Hassan Rouhani assumed office in 2013 and dozens of opposition political figures and human rights defenders were released. However, violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly and movement of HRDs continue to be prevalent.

Human rights defenders and journalists are arrested, detained and prosecuted in unfair trials. HRDs continue to receive death threats and are subjected to harassment, arbitrary arrest and detention. They are refused bail or receive extreme bail conditions. HRDs are additionally subjected to systematic surveillance and their family members are targeted. Journalists have been subjected to flogging for criticising the government.