Monday, November 01, 2010
Nine Years Prison and Ten Years Ban for Iran's Human Rights Lawyer
On Saturday, 30 October, Branch 15 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court sentenced prominent lawyer Mohammad Seifzadeh to nine years in prison and a ten year ban from practicing law. Seifzadeh is charged with the usual “acting against national security” by “establishing the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC).” Abdolfattah Soltani and Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, two other co-founders of DHRC are also under prosecution for similar charges. To which Seifzadeh commented, "it seems the gentlemen have a problem with human rights and consider it a crime".
Nasrin Sotoudeh, another lawyer affiliated with DHRC, has been in detention since 4 September 2010, and held in solitary confinement. Neither her husband nor her children have been allowed to see her since. The only contact she has had with her husband and children is a three second phone call which was cut short, when she said 'I have been threatened'.
Mohammad Oliyaiefard, another lawyer, is serving a one year sentence for having interviewed with the VOA Persian regarding the case of one of his clients, a minor who was executed.
Iran's first post-revolution general prosecutor, Mehdi Hadavi, wrote an open letter yesterday to the Islamic Republic's Intelligence Minister, after his son and grandson were both arrested, which said:
- No state can be run in secrecy and stealth. Official institutions must not behave like pirates and armed robbers.
- The judges in Iran these days execute the orders given to them by the intelligence ministry.
- By your orders, people have even been arrested for taking part in prayers. Do you not fear teh Almighty?
Hadavi, was the Qom prosecutor in 1963, and was dismissed when he refused to sign Ayatollah Khomeini's sentence to exile. After the revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini rewarded him by appointing him as the country's general prosecutor. Hadavi, however resigned after two and a half months, saying he wanted to be accountable on the judgement day.