Iran General NewsEU concerned over arrest of Iranian rights lawyer

EU concerned over arrest of Iranian rights lawyer

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AFP: European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton voiced concern Thursday about Iran’s arrest of a prominent human rights lawyer, saying it signalled “the erosion of political and civil freedoms.”

BRUSSELS, September 15, 2011 (AFP) – European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton voiced concern Thursday about Iran’s arrest of a prominent human rights lawyer, saying it signalled “the erosion of political and civil freedoms.”

“I remain deeply concerned by the human rights situation in Iran,” Ashton said in a statement.

Abdolfattah Soltani, a co-founder of the Centre for Human Rights Defenders along with Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi and others, was arrested Saturday at a prosecutor’s office in Tehran, Amnesty International said this week.

“This illustrates the erosion of political and civil freedoms in Iran and is indicative of the increasingly difficult conditions for human rights activists in Iran,” Ashton said.

Soltani represented another lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who was arrested last year and is serving an 11-year sentence.

“The EU maintains its concerns about her (Sotoudeh’s) case, which have not met with any convincing response when raised with the authorities,” Ashton said.

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