Iran General NewsProtesting Iran human rights lawyer arrested

Protesting Iran human rights lawyer arrested

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AFP: A colleague of the Nobel Prize winning Iranian human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi, Abdolfattah Soltani, was arrested on Saturday, a fellow lawyer said. A group of men appeared at a legal building where Soltani, already the subject of an arrest warrant, was holding a protest and “put him into a car and took him away,” Mohammad Sharif told the student agency ISNA. AFP

TEHRAN – A colleague of the Nobel Prize winning Iranian human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi, Abdolfattah Soltani, was arrested on Saturday, a fellow lawyer said.

A group of men appeared at a legal building where Soltani, already the subject of an arrest warrant, was holding a protest and “put him into a car and took him away,” Mohammad Sharif told the student agency ISNA.

He was not able to say what service the men belonged to and added that other agents filmed the arrest.

Alongside Ebadi, Soltani represents the jailed hunger-striking journalist Akbar Ganji and the family of the murdered Canadian photographer Zahra Kazemi — arguably Iran’s two highest profile rights cases.

Agents from a revolutionary tribunal raided his home while he was away on Wednesday with an arrest warrant, taking away his passport and papers, according to confidants.

Earlier Saturday he had told AFP he was holding a protest at the Tehran bar to demonstrate “against the manoeuvres of intimidation aimed at discouraging lawyers from working in political cases.”

“I will continue my action until the chief justice intervenes and ends the actions of Tehran prosecutor Said Mortazvari that are aimed at stirring up the crisis,” he added.

It was not clear if the arrest is linked to the case of Ganji — who on Saturday entered the 50th day of a hunger strike — or to another issue.

However, the group of rights lawyers fronted by Ebadi appears to be increasingly locked in a struggle with Iran’s ultra-conservative judiciary, with the hardline press accusing the Nobel Peace Prize winner of inciting Ganji to continue his hunger strike.

“We have the impression that with these methods the Tehran judiciary is attempting to sap the courage of the lawyers,” Ebadi told AFP. “If lawyers are treated in this way then nobody will want to defend those accused of political and ideological crimes.

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