UPDATE: (11 March 2008) Jalil Ghaniloo was released after posting bail in the amount of 800 Million Rial ($88,000). He is subject to future prosecution.
(28 February 2008) Jalil Ghaniloo (30), arrested by intelligence agents on May 26, 2007 in Zanjan, is a freelance journalist and political activist. He is being held without charge. Authorities have denied him access to a lawyer.
According to Ghaniloo’s brother, Tavakol Ghaniloo, his arrest is due to his writings highlighting violations of the human rights of the Azerbaijani ethnic minority.
Security forces temporarily detained Ghaniloo on February 21, 2007, the International Mother Language Day, promoted by UNESCO. Ghaniloo had participated in a peaceful protest demanding the right to primary education and publication in Azeri language. Intelligence forces detained Ghaniloo for 26 days. Ghaniloo’s brother claimed that Ghaniloo suffered physical and psychological torture during his detention. He was released after posting bail in amount of 300 million Rials (US$33,400).
He has been transferred between Zanjan prison and Tehran’s Evin prison several times. He is currently held in ward 209 of Evin prison.