Mohammad Mostafaei has stood up for the rights of juvenile suspects and others who have been sentenced to death by stoning. The work of Mostafaei has often been successful: according to him, he succeeded in acquitting 18 out of 40 death sentenced minors in the past few years. His best known client was Sakineh Mohammedi Ashtiani, whose stoning was postponed after strong international protests in 2010.
Besides his work as a lawyer, he writes articles in the Iranian media and keeps a weblog about the human rights situation in Iran. Because of this work he had to flee with his family. He was granted asylum in Norway, and now tries to continue his work from Oslo.
He fled after a warrant for his arrest had been issued on 24 July 2010. Fereshteh and Farhad Halimi, his wife and his brother-in-law, were arrested on the night of 24 July 2010 near Mostafaei’s office in Teheran, to force him to surrender himself. They were released when it appeared that Mostafaei was abroad.
Mostafaei had been detained earlier in 2009, in the aftermath of the presidential elections. His arrest was possibly also related to his representation of Sakineh Mohammedi Ashtiani, whose stoning was postponed in 2010. Her “confession” was broadcast on Iranian state television in August 2010. According to Mostafaei at a press conference in Oslo, she had made the confession under duress.
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