Posts Tagged ‘Abdolfattah Soltani’

List of Lawyers Imprisoned in Iran for Defending Human Rights

June 24, 2020

On 23 June 2020 the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) published under the title “No Lawyers, No Justice” a list of lawyers imprisoned in Iran for defending Human Rights Defenders. The adagium “utopia is a world without lawyers” clealry does not apply to Iran:

At least nine known cases of attorneys that have been arrested, charged with national security-related crimes, and/or banned from practicing law in the last two years. In addition to the list below, CHRI maintains this regularly updated list of lawyers known to have been imprisoned in Iran for their work defending the law.

Payam Derafshan: Held incommunicado at an unknown location since his arrest in June 2020 on unannounced charges. In May 2020, he was sentenced to a one-year suspended prison sentence for“insulting the supreme leader,” and suspended from practicing law for two years.

Soheila Hejab: Held at Gharchak Prison since May 2020, serving an 18-year prison sentence, five of which she must serve before becoming eligible for parole for “forming a group for women’s rights.”

Nasrin Sotoudeh: Detained in June 2018 and sentenced to 38 years in prison, 12 years of which she must serve before becoming eligible for parole. Among her charges were “encouraging prostitution” for advocating against compulsory hijab. Previously she served three years in prison for “acting against national security” and “membership in the Defenders of Human Rights Center.”

Mohammad Najafi: Imprisoned for demanding accountability for deaths in detention and facing new unspecified charges, he was sentenced in 2019 to 13 years in prison for “propaganda against the state,” “insulting the supreme leader,” and “collaborating with enemy states,” in addition to a four-year prison sentence in 2018. He must serve 10 years before becoming eligible for parole.

Amirsalar Davoudi: Behind bars since November 2018, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison and 11 lashes. He will be eligible for release after serving 15 years under the charge of forming “an illegal group,” which was a news channel for lawyers on the Telegram messaging app.

Arash Keykhosravi, who, along with fellow lawyer Ghasem Sholeh Sa’di, was sentenced to six years in prison but later acquitted, is facing new charges of “publishing falsehoods” for writing an article criticizing the imprisonment of attorney Mohammad Najafi.

Abdolfattah Soltani, who spent more than seven years behind bars for defending political prisoners, and Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, who was sentenced in 2012 to nine years in prison but released on furlough in 2013, are both banned from practicing law.

The assault on rights lawyers in Iran has been occurring amid a backdrop of two major changes to the legal process that have facilitated the authorities’ ability to convict defendants in politically motivated prosecutions on unsubstantiated charges.

In January 2018, Iranian courts began citing the Note to Article 48 of Iran’s Criminal Procedures Regulationsas justification for forcing defendants to choose their legal counsel from a court-approved list. The note also allows a delay in an individual’s access to counsel in cases involving “national security” charges, which are used against perceived critics of the state.

In a second blow to due process, in November 2019, Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi ruled that Appeal Courts could issue verdicts without the presence of defendants and their attorneys, rendering the appeal process effectively meaningless.

If the head of the judiciary can stop lawyers from practicing, it’s time to say goodbye to this profession,” Sotoudeh said in 2018. She was arrested two months after making the comments and has been behind bars ever since. [See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/tag/nasrin-sotoudeh/]

https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2020/06/no-lawyers-no-justice-attorneys-imprisoned-in-iran-for-defending-human-rights/

Four jailed Iranian human rights lawyers win European Bar award

November 29, 2019

IRAN -- Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh is seen in Tehran on November 1, 2008.

Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh is seen in Tehran on 1 November 2008.

The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) has bestowed its annual Human Rights Award to four lawyers from Iran: Nasrin Sotoudeh, Addolfattah Soltani, Mohammad Najafi and Amir Salar Davodi. Shirin Ebadi will receive the award on behalf of the jailed lawyers from CCBE President José De Freitas.

The CCBE is a professional organization that represents Law Societies from 45 different countries and over one million lawyers. Previous recipients of the award include Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF) and Azerbaijani human rights lawyer Intigam Aliyev. For more on this and other awards for lawyers see: http://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/awards/ccbe-human-rights-award

Nasrin Sotoudeh is a human rights defender who has been in prison since summer of 2018 for her peaceful activities defending women’s rights to choose their dress style. Although there is no written law in Iran for compulsory hijab, the police and courts spend considerable resources to force women to use the veil. [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/06/13/1-million-people-demand-that-iranian-government-release-nasrin-sotoudeh/]

Abdolfattah Soltani who co-founded the Defenders Of Human Rights Center along with his colleagues, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi and others served as the attorney defending the family of Iranian-Canadian photo journalist Zahra Kazemi. [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2018/11/22/iranian-human-rights-defender-abdolfattah-soltani-released-from-jail/

Mohammad Najafi performed various human rights related work and defended protestors who were arrested during a mass uprising in early 2018.

Amirsalar Davoudi was sentenced to 30 years in prison, 111 lashses and substantial monetary fine for his work. One of the charges included “collaborating with the enemy sate” which was brought against Davoudi for doing an interview with the Voice of America’s Persian section.

A statement from the CCBE urges Iran “to take all the necessary measures to release these four human rights lawyers and to guarantee that all lawyers in the Islamic Republic of Iran are able to perform their professional duties without fear of reprisal, hindrance, intimidation or harassment.

https://en.radiofarda.com/a/jailed-iranian-lawyers-win-human-rights-award/30297336.html

Iranian human rights defender Abdolfattah Soltani released from jail

November 22, 2018

Prominent human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani in Iran was granted conditional release after serving more than seven years, reports the Guardian on 21 November 2018.

Abdolfattah Soltani
Abdolfattah Soltani. Photograph: Behrouz Mehri/AFP

The authorities agreed yesterday to my client’s conditional parole and he was released today,” Soltani’s lawyer Saeed Dehghan said on Wednesday, according to IRNA.

Soltani was jailed in 2011 over charges of “spreading propaganda against the system” and “setting up an illegal opposition group”, Amnesty International said at the time. He was granted conditional release after serving more than half a 10-year term, IRNA said. A previous parole request on 8 July had been denied, according to his lawyer. Soltani was a co-founder of the now outlawed Defenders of Human Rights Centre alongside Nobel peace prize laureate Shirin Ebadi and others. The human rights lawyer’s release could not be immediately confirmed with his family. Soltani was briefly released from prison in August to attend the funeral of his 30-year-old daughter, Homa, who died of a heart attack.

see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2012/10/10/abdolfattah-soltani-awarded-iba-human-rights-award-lawyers-for-lawyers/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/21/iranian-human-rights-lawyer-abdolfattah-soltani-released-from-jail

Interview with Karim Lahidji on the 36th anniversary of the Islamic regime in Iran

February 18, 2015

11 February 2015 marks the 36th anniversary of the Islamic regime in Iran. Karim Lahidji, President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), answers questions about freedoms and liberties in Iran today. The very experienced and well-respected Iranian exile recalls briefly the historical background and states the record on freedom of religion in Iran: Read the rest of this entry »

Iran: Human Rights Defenders, arbitrarily detained, are made to suffer again through lack of medical care

March 10, 2014

The FIDH, on 6 March 2014, issued a statement on the lack of access to medical care for human rights defenders in Iran, resulting in further deterioration of their health FIDH fears this may amount to a systematic practice aiming at further intimidating civil society voices critical of the regime.logo FIDH_seul

On March 2, 2014, several prisoners of conscience detained in Evin prison, Tehran, wrote their second Read the rest of this entry »

Wife Of Imprisoned Iranian Lawyer Sentenced For Accepting Human Rights Award On His Behalf

October 14, 2013

That there can be a risk in accepting (monetary) awards is demonstrated again by the case of Massoumeh Dehghan, retired teacher and wife of imprisoned human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani in Iran. She told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that her one-year prison sentence for accepting her husband’s human rights award has been upheld (suspended for five years, and five years’ ban on foreign travel). Read the rest of this entry »

Abdolfattah Soltani awarded IBA Human Rights Award Lawyers for Lawyers

October 10, 2012

Iranian lawyer and human rights defender Abdolfattah Soltani recevied on 5 October the 2012International Bar AssociationHuman Rights Award. The announcement came during the International Bar Association (IBA) Annual Conference taking place in Dublin, Ireland.

Mr Soltani, who co-founded the Defenders of Human Rights Centre (DHRC) with Nobel Peace Prize winner Ms Shirin Ebadi, has worked courageously and determinedly throughout his career to provide pro bono legal counsel to those in need.

As a result of his human rights defence work, Mr Soltani has endured persistent persecution from the Iranian government and has been imprisoned on several occasions. He is currently serving a 13-year prison sentence in Iran that stems from a number of charges including co-founding the DHRC, spreading anti-government propaganda and endangering national security. The imprisonment began on 4 March 2012.

Among Mr Soltani’s high profile cases are:

  • Nasrin Soutoudeh, a journalist and human rights lawyer; 2012 nominee of the MEA
  • Akbar Ghanji a human rights activist, who exposed the involvement of several government officials in the murder of intellectuals and journalists in the 1990s; MEA Laureate of 2006 and
  • Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian-Iranian journalist arrested for taking photographs in front of Evin prison in July 2003. Ms Kazemi died in the same prison several days later.

In addition, Mr Soltani has defended teachers, protesters, other fellow human rights lawyers, political activists, students, and several Baha’I (Iranian minority group) leaders. In many instances other lawyers refused to take on these cases because of the risks involved.

 

 

Iran Abdolfattah Soltani awarded with IBA Human Rights Award Lawyers for Lawyers.

Iran should Immediately release imprisoned Human Rights Defenders

June 19, 2012

Several human rights organizations, including AI, called on Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Abdolfattaf Soltani, a prominent lawyer and founding member of the Center for Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), an organization co-founded by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi

Abdolfattah Soltani was originally sentenced by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court to 18 years’ imprisonment to be served in the remote city of Borazjan, some 620 miles south-west of Tehran, which will make it hard for his family to visit him. Soltani was also banned from practicing law for 20 years.

His lawyer and family were informed of the initial sentence March 4. On June 4, his family was informed that Branch 54 of the Appeal Court of Tehran had reduced his sentence to 13 years’ imprisonment and overturned the ban on practicing law for 20 years; the court confirmed that his imprisonment sentence is to be served in the city of Borazjan.

Arrested on September 10, 2011 on charges including “spreading propaganda against the system,” “setting up an illegal opposition group [the CHRD],” and “gathering and colluding with intent to harm national security,” Soltani also faced charges of “accepting an illegal prize and illegal earnings” relating to his acceptance of the Nuremberg International Human Rights Award in 2009.

On at least two occasions since his imprisonment, Soltani was pressured to “confess” on camera, including “confessing” that the center had received funding from foreign sources to encourage a “soft revolution” in Iran – which Soltani denies.

Since the CHRD was forcibly closed in December 2008, Iranian authorities carried out a campaign of prosecution and harsh sentencing against anyone with actual or perceived links to the center. Its members have continued to carry out their work in support of human rights but have faced repeated harassment, intimidation, arrest and imprisonment. Several are currently serving prison sentences in Tehran’s Evin Prison, including Narges Mohammadi  (six-year sentence),  Mohammad Seyfzadeh (a two-year prison sentence), Mohammad Ali Dadkhah (nine years’ imprisonment – currently at liberty, though he may be called to serve his sentence at any time) and MEA 2012 nominee Nasrin Sotoudeh (6-year jail term).

Iran: Immediately Release Imprisoned Human Rights Defenders | Amnesty International USA.

Call for release of political prisoners in Iran for Norooz

March 18, 2012

Iranian activists have issued a statement urging the government to release political prisoners for Norooz, the Iranian New Year. Radio Zamaneh reports that 440 Iranian civic and political activists of various stripes have signed a statement demanding that the government at least allow political prisoners to spend the New Year with their families, on the first day of spring in March.

The statement condemns the harsh sentences handed recently to Nasrin Sotoudeh, Nargess Mohammadi and Abdolfattah Soltani, members of the Human Rights Defenders Centre, and it denounces the arrest of journalists, political activists and all prisoners of conscience.

via Iranian activists call for release of political prisoners for Norooz.