Three political prisoners spend their birthdays behind bars today

Laleh Hassanpour, poet and human rights activist

Poet and human rights activist Laleh Hassanpour was arrested at her father’s home on March 16, 2009 during a raid on activists working with HRANA. She was released two months later from Evin prison on bail. Judge PirAbassi in branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced her to one year in prison and four years suspended imprisonment. She has been charged with, “Membership in HRANA”, “Gathering and collusion”, “Engaging in propaganda activities against the regime”, “Insulting what is sacred”, and “Insulting the presidential rule”.

Laleh Hassanpour’s sentence was upheld by branch 36 of the Tehran Appeals Court. On April 18, 2010, Laleh Hassanpour was summoned to Evin prison to serve her one year prison term. She is currently held in Evin prison.

Seyed Massoud Hosseini Lavasani, writer and journalist

Writer and journalist Massoud Lavasani was arrested on June 30, 2009, following the disputed 2009 Iranian Presidential election. He was charged with “Engaging in propaganda activities against the regime”. Judge PirAbassi in the Revolutionary Court sentenced him to eight and a half years in prison. He was also issued a lifelong ban from journalism. In the Appeals Court Massoud Lavasani’s sentence was reduced to six years in prison and a ten-year ban from journalism.

Massoud Lavasani has worked with the following publications:

  • The weekly newspaper Sobh-e Sadegh, editor of the arts and literature section.
  • Mehr News, reporter in the field of culture and literature.
  • The newspaper Aftab Yazd, responsible for the arts and literature section.
  • Fars News, Middle East and international affairs analyst.

He has also worked with numerous other publications, including Shargh, Kargozaran, and Etemad Melli. Massoud Lavasani is a member of the Association of Iranian Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists.

Ehsan Abdeh Tabrizi, PhD student

Ehsan Abdeh Tabrizi is a PhD Politics student at the University of Durham, England. Today, he spends birthday behind bars in Evin prison for the second consecutive time.

He was arrested at the Imam Khomeini airport when he had returned to Iran from his studies abroad.

Ehsan Tabrizi was held for four months in the solitary confinement ward 209 of Evin prison without contact with his family. He is currently held with other political prisoners in ward 350 of Evin prison.

In two sessions, October 30, 2010 and December 7, 2010, Ehsan Tabrizi was sentenced to seven years in prison by Judge Moghiseh in branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court:

  • Two years for “Insulting the President”
  • Three years for “Having presence in the Ashura protests”
  • Two years for “Contacts with foreign agents”

Hossein Abdeh Tabrizi, Ehsan’s father is a critic of Ahmadinejad’s economic policies. He is the former secretary of the Tehran Stock Exchange. He had previously provoked the anger of government officials with his economic criticisms in the Sarmayeh newspaper. He is among the 70 economists that had criticized the government’s economic policies in a letter. 

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