Security agents seized Hassanpour, 32, editor of the now-defunct Kurdish-Persian weekly Aso, in his hometown of Marivan, Kurdistan province, according to news reports. In July 2007, a Revolutionary Court convicted him of anti-state charges and sentenced him to death. After a series of appeals and reversals, he was re-sentenced in May 2010 to 15 years in prison, his defense lawyer, Saleh Nikbakht, told the independent press outlet Human Rights Activists News Agency.
The government’s case against Hassanpour amounted to a series of assertions by security agents, his defense lawyer, Sirvan Hosmandi, told CPJ in 2008. Hassanpour’s sister, Lily, told CPJ that she believed his critical writing was behind the charges.
He has not been allowed furlough during his time in prison despite repeated requests by his lawyer and family, news reports said. His sister told the Committee of Human Rights Reporters in 2013 that the journalist’s health had deteriorated in prison from lack of proper medical care.
Hassanpour was being held at Sanandaj Central Prison in Kurdistan province. In January 2014, he was abruptly transferred to Marivan Prison in Kurdistan province, then to Zabol Prison in Sistan and Baluchistan province, and on March 19, 2014, to Zahedan Prison, according to Radio Zamaneh. Hassanpour’s sister told Radio Zamaneh that the reason for the transfer could have been a letter he wrote to President Hassan Rouhani in August 2013 in which the journalist expressed hope that voting for Rouhani would help bring peaceful change to Kurdistan province and its citizens.
Hassanpour was transferred back to Marivan Prison on April 19, 2014, according to HRANA. According to reports in August 2015, Hassanpour was then transferred to Sanandaj Central Prison in northwestern Iran.