Massoud Kurdpour

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Intelligence forces arrested Khosrow Kurdpour, editor-in-chief of the Mukrian News Agency, an outlet that covers the arrests and prosecutions of Kurdish activists and documents human rights violations. The U.S. government-funded Radio Farda reported that authorities had a warrant for his arrest and also searched his home, but did not offer further details.

Kurdpour’s brother, freelance journalist Massoud Kurdpour, was arrested at the Boukan Intelligence Office the next day when he went to inquire about the imprisonment of his brother. Authorities later searched his home and confiscated personal items. Massoud Kordpour had frequently covered human rights in Kurdistan province, and his work has been published by RFI Persian, Deutsche Welle Persian, Voice of America Persian, and on local and Kurdish-language websites.

Massoud was initially held in solitary confinement before being transferred to Mahabad Prison in Azerbaijan province. Both journalists were then transferred to Orumiyeh Prison on March 26, 2013, according to the Kurdish news website Kurdpa and Radio Zamaneh.

Neither journalist has been allowed access to his lawyer or family members, according to the independent press service Human Rights Activist News Agency. Another brother, As’ad, told Kurdpa on April 11, 2013, that a judge had forbidden the journalists’ family from visiting the brothers.

The brothers were taken to court on September 16, 2013, and officially charged with “propaganda against the regime,” “insulting the supreme leader,” and “publishing falsehoods with the intent to create public anxiety,” according to the Mukrian News Agency. The judge did not issue a decision in relation to the defense lawyer’s request to release the journalists on bail. Massoud and Khosrow Kordpour were sent back to prison.

In November 2013, news accounts reported that the Mahabad Revolutionary Court had sentenced Massoud to three and a half years in prison and Khosrow to six years in prison, followed by exile for two years. An appeal court upheld the sentences in March 2014, according to the website Kurdpa.

Khosrow Kurdpour was transferred to Tabriz Prison on March 19, 2014, according to Radio Zamaneh, and he was denied furlough, according to HRANA. Massoud Kurdpour was allowed a short furlough in August 2014, according to HRANA.