Iran Pressure on lawyers increases again
3 February 2011

Iran Pressure on lawyers increases again

Lawyers Farshid Yadollahi and Amir Eslami were convicted to a six months prison sentence on Kish Island in southern Iran on 22 January. Around the same time, Mostafa Daneshjou was sentenced in appeal to seven months in prison in the northern province of Mazandaran. These lawyers represented dervishes, Sufi Muslims who choose to live in poverty. The dervishes are often prosecuted and labeled as a threat to national security by the authorities. In the cases where the mentioned lawyers acted, the dervishes were acquitted, while their lawyers were convicted for “propagating lies and creating public anxiety”. Yadollahi and Eslami are both members of the human rights commission of the Iranian Bar Assocation. They had filed a complaint against the intelligence services for unlawful behavior. Mostafa Daneshjou was disbarred on top of his sentence; member of the defense team in the dervishes case Daneshjou was working on, Omid Behrouzi, was also disbarred.

In the meantime, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, one of the founders of the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC), was summoned to Evin prison. The charges relate to, among other things, his part in the foundation of the DHRC. Colleague and co-founder Mohammad Seifzadeh was convicted to a nine year prison term in October 2010 on the same charges. Mohammad Ali Dadkhah was one of the many lawyers who were arrested in the aftermath of the disputed presidential elections in June 2009. Charges will probably also be presented against Abdolfattah Soltani, another founder of the DHRC, again in connection to his activities in helping establishing the organization.

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