Matin-Pour, a journalist who wrote for his own blog and for the newspapers Yar Pag and Mouj Bidari in western Azerbaijan province, was first arrested in May 2007. He was released on bail, then re-arrested in July 2009 amid the government’s massive crackdown on dissidents and the press.
A Revolutionary Court in Tehran convicted Matin-Pour in July 2011 of charges of having “relations with foreigners” and “propagating against the regime,” according to local news reports. He was sentenced to eight years in prison.
In September 2012, Matin-Pour’s wife, Atieh Taheri, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that her husband had been kept in solitary confinement for months, interrogated, and tortured. Reformist news websites reported that Matin-Pour had developed heart and respiratory problems.
The Iranian Human Rights Activists News Agency reported on April 1, 2013, that Matin-Pour had also developed severe spinal pain and chronic headaches in prison. The agency said authorities had denied his repeated requests for transfer to a hospital.
In April 2014, security and intelligence agents raided Ward 350 and severely beat and injured several prisoners, including Matin-Pour, according to news websites and human rights groups. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported in August 2014 that Matin-Pour was one of 27 political prisoners who were transferred from Evin Prison’s Ward 350 to a quarantine unit inside the prison, where conditions were dire. Matin-Pour was transferred to Zanjan Prison on September 28, 2014, according to HRANA.
Matin-Pour has not been allowed a day of furlough in the more than five years he has been in prison, according to news reports.