Mehdi Naimi Ardabili
UPDATE: (10 November 2008) Mehdi Naimi Ardabili was released from prison on 9 November 2008 after posting approximately $52,000 (500 million Rial) bail.
Mehdi Naimi Ardabili is an Azerbaijani poet and professor of Azeri who was arrested during an Iftar celebration held at a co-worker’s home on 10 September 2008. Eighteen others were arrested along with him at the celebration on Navab Safavi Road in Tehran.
Based on information from the Committee for Defense of the Political Prisoners of Azerbaijan (ASMAK), Ardabili and the rest of those arrested were taken to Section 209 of Evin Prison. They are being kept in unsuitable conditions and being denied the right to a lawyer, the right to see their families and are in solitary confinement. Until the 20 October, they were only allowed one brief telephone call to their families.
Ardabili was an Azeri language teacher at various Iranian institutions, including in Sanandaj. He received Bachelors and Masters degrees in Economic Science and during university was the director and licensing owner of the dual-language university publication Sav.
He was arrested for the first time on 24 April 2005, in Tehran and was in custody for 12 days. He was released after posting bail.