UPDATE: (10 November 2008) Hasan Rashedi was released from prison on 9 November 2008 after posting approximately $52,000 (500 million Rial) bail.
Hasan Rashedi is an Azerbaijani writer and cultural rights activist who was arrested while attending an Iftar celebration at a co-worker’s home on 10 September 2008. Rashedi and the others arrested at the celebration were taken to Section 209 of Evin Prison. They were not allowed to see a lawyer or to meet with their families and were kept in solitary confinement. Until 21 October, Rashedi was allowed only one brief telephone call with his family.
Rashedi has written three books: The Azeri Language in the Past and Present in Iran; a book on Azeri grammar; and Azerbaijanis, Azeri, and Their Identity’s History in Iran. He is the author of many articles on topics such as politics, sociology, history and literature. He has contributed to a number of publications and newspapers including Varliq, Partaq, Yool, Sharq and the weekly Azeri publication Navid. He is one of the founders of the Chicheklar Qorulushu Forum, a children’s organization established in 1993. Rashedi also teaches Azeri and Azeri literature.
On 2 July 2006, one month after the protests of June 2006 in cities in Azerbaijan, Rashedi was at the Falakeh Sadeqi metro station, where he works as an engineer, when he was arrested by intelligence officers. After three months in prison he posted bail in November 2006 and was released from Evin Prison. The result of his trial was a deferred one-year prison sentence for five years from the 13th Branch of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran based on charges of “propaganda against the system.”