Petition Tag - human rights lawyer

1. Free Iranian Human Rights Lawyer Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, Sentenced To 9 Years!

UPDATE DECEMBER 29, 2012

Less than three months after being ordered to begin serving his nine-year prison sentence in Evin Prison, prominent Iranian human rights lawyer Mohammad Ali Dadkhah is reported to be suffering impaired memory and is also under renewed pressure to give his jailers a "confession."

The brother of founding member of the Defenders of Human Rights Center Mohammad Ali Dadkhah told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the prominent human rights lawyer is showing signs of impaired memory at Evin Prison, and that he is under severe pressure to confess against himself and to accept charges leveled against him. Seyed Hossein Dadkhah expressed grave concern about his brother’s conditions and told the Campaign that Dadkhah’s family members do not know why nor how his memory loss has come about.

“He did not recognize his daughter during the in-person visitation and he was talking nonsense. It is very sad. I met Mohammad through a booth. I was surprised to observe that he constructed his sentences in haphazard ways. Mohammad has always had excellent speech, he would never make mistakes or talk haphazardly, he never paused in the middle of his talks. I don’t know what happened to him. He wasn’t the same last week,” Seyed Hossein Dadkhah told the Campaign.

“I don’t know what resulted in this. Maybe he can’t speak very frankly during booth visits. Whatever I asked him he answered, ‘It’s good.’ I asked, ‘Are they abusing you?’ He said, ‘No. Everything is good.’ I asked ‘Are you eating?’ He said, ‘Good.’ ‘Do you sleep well?’ He said, ‘Everything is good,’” Dadkhah’s brother told the Campaign.

Prominent Iranian lawyer Mohammad Ali Dadkhah represented many political activists, such as Ebrahim Yazdi and Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, as well as Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. He was sentenced to nine years in prison and ten years’ ban on legal practice and teaching in July 2011. An appeals court upheld his sentence in full.

Prior to his imprisonment, Dadkhah was put under pressure to confess on television. During an interview with the Campaign in May 2012 he said hat security forces had asked him to state before a television camera that the Defenders of Human Rights Center received funds from foreigners in order to carry out their goals.

“They told him, ‘If you accept one of your charges, we will free you immediately.’ He told them, ‘Considering I have not done anything, why should I confess to having done it?’ He told them, ‘My activities were only related to human rights, and if you want I will confess to the same.’ They told him, ‘Then stay right here.’ We have kept our silence so far, because we didn’t want his conditions to get worse than this,” Dadkhah’s brother told the Campaign about the pressure on his brother in prison.

In September 2012, prior to his imprisonment, Mohammad Ali Dakhah told the Campaign, “They told me that if I didn’t confess, they would enforce my sentence. They talked to me for long periods of time and I did not accept it. I will say now that if one day I say things, they are not credible and I must have been under conditions where I was forced to say those things. I hope God maintains my power.”

Dadkah’s brother told the Campaign, “During his weekly visit with his daughter last week, he said that he has problems with his teeth, but told her not to request medical treatment for him.”

“I have gone everywhere. I have told hem that Mohammad does not deserve prison. His intelligence must be put to use outside the prison and for the country. About two months ago I requested that they allow him to leave prison daily and go to the Encyclopedia Office in order to complete his unfinished book on the “7 Seen” [traditions related to the Persian new year celebration of Nowruz]; [so that] he would go there for work every day and return to prison in the evening. They said that the Tehran Prosecutor would have to issue the permission, but so far there has been no word from the Prosecutor’s Office. I will go to follow up on this in a few days again,” his brother added.

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UPDATE: OCTOBER 1, 2012:

Prominent Iranian human rights lawyer, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, was transferred to Ward 350 of Evin Prison in order to begin serving his 9 year prison sentence.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Mohammad Ali Dadkhah was sentenced to nine years in prison, ten years' ban on legal practice, flogging, and cash fines by Branch 15 of Tehran Revolutionary Court in July 2011.

Dadkhah is a distinguished human rights lawyer who has represented many prisoners of conscience including the Nationalist-Religious activists, Abdolfattah Soltani, Gonabadi Dervishes, Amir Kabir University students, Zanjan University students Alireza Firouzi and Sourena Hashemi, and Youcef Nadarkhani, a Christian pastor formerly on death row.

Mohammad Ali Dadkhah also represented cases where people had filed suit against the government for building the Sivand Dam in Fars Province, and for giving construction permit for Jahan Nama Tower, a highrise in Isfahan.

Dadkhah was first arrested in 2002 during wide arrests of Iran Freedom Movement members. His last arrest was on July 8, 2009, when Security Police arrested him and several of his colleagues at his offices and sealed his legal practice.

Mohammad Ali Dadkhah was a member of Center for Human Rights Defenders. Most members of CHRD, including Mohammad Seifzadeh, Abdolfattah Soltani, and Nasrin Sotoudeh are in prison at this time and Narges Mohammadi was released recently on medical furlough.

http://www.en-hrana.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=631%3A1&catid=12%3Aprisoners&Itemid=12

July 4, 2011--Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, the spokesperson for the Human Rights Defenders’ Committee, stated that he has been sentenced to a 10 year ban on the practice of law, 8 years in prison for plotting a soft revolution, one year of imprisonment for anti-regime propaganda, lashes and a monetary fine.

According to the Human Rights House of Iran, Dadkhah is the spokesman and one of the founders of the Human Rights Defenders’ Committee.

Another prominent attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh has also received an 11 year prison sentence, a 20 year ban on exiting the country, and a 20 year ban on the practice of law.

The semi-official ISNA news agency reported Monday that Mohammad Ali Dadkhah has also been sentenced to pay the equivalent of $300 dollars for possessing a satellite TV receiver in his apartment. Dadkhah says he will appeal.

The lawyer represented activists and opposition supporters arrested after the disputed 2009 presidential elections.

Gonabadi Dervishes Hosseineyeh Ershad incident, the case of attorney Abdolfatah Soltani and the case of the Religious-Nationalist activists.

He also had a prominent role in the Savand dam case and the Jahan Nama towers in Naghshband square in Esfahan.

He also defended many of the university students cases, including the following:

1- The case of 3 students of Amir Kabir university, where, because of his continuous pursuit of the case while very close to obtaining acquittal for his clients, against the Iranian Judiciary laws and international laws he was barred from seeing his clients.

2- The case of three young men charged with insulting the Supreme Leader. This case lasted for five years and ended up in an acquittal of his clients.

3- The case of Zanjan University students, Sorna Hashemi and Alireza Firouzi, who were arrested after a sit-in protest at the university about an attempted rape of one of the female students by the then Deputy Chancellor of Zanjan university Dr. Hassan Maddadi.

4- The case of pastor Nadarkhani who was charged with apostasy.

On 8 July 2009, Mohamad Ali Dadkhah was arrested at his office along with his wife Maliheh Dadkhah, Sara Sabaghiyan, Bahareh Davlou and Amir Raeisian.

On 4 July 2011 he was sentenced to nine years in prison and barred from working as an attorney for 10 years. Speaking about his sentence then, Dadkhah stated, “I have been sentenced to a 10 year ban on the practice of law, eight years in prison for plotting a soft war for the purpose of overthrowing the regime and by being the spoke person for the Defenders of the Human Rights Center, and an additional one year in prison for propagating against the system and the Islamic Republic. I was also sentenced to flogging and a monetary fine.”

UPDATE May 3, 2012:
On April 28, 2012, Mr. Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, a human rights lawyer and founding member of the DHRC, was informed by Judge Salavati of Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolution Court, as the former was attempting to represent a political prisoner, that his nine-year imprisonment sentence and his 10-year ban on practising law and teaching had been upheld on appeal. In the past, he has defended many political and student activists and unionists as well as the Christian Pastor Mr. Yousef Nadarkhani, who has been sentenced to death on charge of apostasy.

According to the e-daily Roozonline, Mr. Dadkhah declared on May 1, 2012 that he has to report himself to prison on May 5 to serve his nine-year sentence. He added that “They have banned me from practising law for 10 years and also from teaching even in private institutes after my prison term. My sentence includes a cash fine of 25 million rials and lashing, which has also been substituted with a cash fine”. Besides, he declared that he rejected opportunities to leave Iran and said: “I will go to prison; I will not leave my land even if I die in prison”. Today, Mr. Dadkhah is at risk of imminent arrest.

Persian Article:

http://www.rahana.org/archives/42264

2. Release Human Rights Lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, in Iran!

*UPDATE MAY 2013*

Nasrin Sotoudeh’s Eyesight Is Deteriorating in Prison. “Before going to prison, she was only using reading glasses, but after her first hunger strike two years ago, her vision problems started, and recently this problem intensified after her latest hunger strike,” -husband of Nasrin Sotoudeh.

September 2011, The Appeals Court reduced Nasrin Sotoudeh’s sentence to 6 years in prison and 10 year ban from practicing law.

http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2013/04/sotoudeh-eyesight/

*UPDATE July 17, 2011*

Nasrin Sotoudeh, human rights lawyer who is imprisoned in Iran, sentenced to 11 years in jail, 20 year ban on practicing law, and banned from leaving Iran, has finally been allowed to see her mother after 8 months in jail.

http://royahayesabz.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/after-eight-months-of-incarceration-nasrin-sotoudeh-finally-allowed-visitation-with-her-mother/

http://www.rahana.org/en/?p=9242

*UPDATE February 25, 2011*

Feb 18th: In third court hearing, Nasrin Sotoudeh’s family was not allowed in the courtroom. In the 6 months that Sotoudeh has been in prison, their 3 year old has only been able to visit her 3 times which adds up to about 30 minutes and the visits have taken place under totally inappropriate conditions. She is still in the Security Ward of Evin (Ward 209) despite 6 months of detention, and she has not been transferred to the General Ward.

http://www.rahana.org/en/?p=10105

*UPDATE December 20th, 2010*

According to reports received from Evin prison, Nasrin Sotoudeh, human rights lawyer on her a dry hunger strike was transferred to Evin’s infirmary on December 16th as a result of her rapidly deteriorating health. This is the third time Nasrin Sotoudeh has launched a hunger strike in the 100 days she has been incarcerated. Even though her physical health is dire as a result of her dwindling strength she has refused to end her hunger strike.

Reza Khandan, Sotoudeh’s husband and her two children are extremely worried for her wellbeing. To make matters worse, as a result of the Muharram holidays they have not been able to reach the judicial authorities to inquire about her condition.

According to reports received by Kaleme, Nima, Nasrin Sotoudeh’s three year old toddler continues to ask about his mother’s whereabouts and does not understand why his sister and father are so worried. Nasrin Sotoudeh’s daughter, Mehrabeh, who is only twelve years old, has been consoling her three year old brother these days.

http://persian2english.com/?p=17749

*UPDATE December 15, 2010*

NASRIN SOTOUDEH HAS BEEN ON A DRY HUNGER STRIKE SINCE DECEMBER 5TH, 2010!! HER HEALTH IS IN CRITICAL DANGER.

Please help spread news to international organizations about Nasrin's situation!!!

New 'Hijab' Charges Brought Against Iranian Rights Lawyer:
Reza Khandan, Nasrin's husband told Radio Farda on December 14th that his wife must appear in court on December 27th to defend herself against charges of "not wearing the hijab" and "not observing Islamic standards of conduct."

Khandan said that when his wife was barred from leaving Iran to receive an international human rights award in 2008, she sent a message via video clip to the International Human Rights Committee in Italy, which had selected her as the awardee.

"Her new charge is that she did not wear a head scarf in that video clip," Khandan said.
http://www.rferl.org/content/new_hijab_charges_against_iran_rights_lawyer/2248892.html

Reza Khandan, the husband of Nasrin Sotoudeh, a lawyer and human rights activist illegally jailed in Evin prison, reports on the recent conversation he had with his wife during the last visit. Nasrin Sotoudeh is currently on hunger strike. She is demanding the annulment of the unjust laws devised after the 2009 Iranian Presidential election.

Reza Khandan says December 12, 2010: "Nasrin contacted me and she did not sound well at all. She is still on hunger strike and has visited the [prison's] medical clinic on numerous ocassions. I asked specifically about what her demands are that would [need to be upheld] before she ended her hunger strike. Nasrin stated, “I have no personal demands, however I wish to see the annulment of all the unjust laws devised after the June 2009 election [in Iran].” She stated the same in our last visit together.

http://persian2english.com/?p=17611

*UPDATE November 5, 2010*

In an interview with Radio Farda, Reza Khandan has confirmed that his wife jailed human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh is back on hunger strike. The physical condition of human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh is deteriorating as a result of a dry hunger strike (no food or water) that she began at Evin prison on Sunday October, 31, 2010. Sotoudeh's children were extremely distressed and depressed at the sight of their mother who was in poor physical condition and had lost a lot of weight. TAKE ACTION!

translation by Banooye Sabz.

*UPDATE October 15, 2010*

Nasrin Sotoudeh has been on a hunger strike for 20 days since September 25th, she is being subjected to severe torture by her interrogators which was reported today. Please read the article here: http://persian2english.com/?p=15474

*UPDATE September 25, 2010*

Only a few days after her arrest, Nasrin Sotoudeh’s father passed away in the intensive care unit of a hospital. The night before appearing at the Evin prison court, Sotoudeh had gone to see her father with her two children, ages three and twelve, unaware that this would be her last visit with her father. Sotoudeh’s family has requested her release for her father’s funeral! Release Nasrin Sotoudeh!!!!

http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2010/09/mourning-mothers-sotoudeh-release/

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5 September 2010- The International Campaign for Human Right in Iran called for the immediate release of prominent human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who was arrested at Evin prison on 4 September 2010, and for all charges against her to be dropped.

Sotoudeh is a leading human rights lawyer widely respected for her efforts on behalf of juveniles facing the death penalty and for her defense of prisoners of conscience. Sotoudeh, a mother of two, had earlier been charged with threatening national security. Her office and home were searched on 28 August and her assets frozen.

Nasrin Ghanavi, Sotoudeh’s lawyer, told the Campaign that Sotoudeh was summoned to Evin Prison court on charges of “propaganda against the state,” and “collusion and gathering with the aim of acting against national security.”

Ghanavi accompanied Sotoudeh to the court summon on 4 September but was not permitted to be present during questioning. After her questioning, Sotoudeh was arrested and held in Evin prison.

“This arrest is nothing more than a crude, arbitrary political move to make it more comfortable for the Iranian government to persecute its citizens,” stated Aaron Rhodes, a spokesperson for the Campaign.

A few days before her arrest, Sotoudeh told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran how the authorities were creating bogus tax problems for human rights lawyers as a way to provide pretexts for their prosecution.

“I was referred to the taxation bureau and while there I noticed in addition to my name, they are conducting special investigations into thirty human rights lawyers,” she said. Sotoudeh provided Shirin Ebadi’s tax bill of hundreds of thousands of dollars on her Nobel Peace Prize money as an example, noting as well the irony that human rights cases were all represented on a pro bono basis, and none of the lawyers receive any money from the clients they defend in human rights case. ”The accusation machine is continuing to work fast, further limiting the conditions for human rights defense. The ultimate goal is to shut down all defense of human rights,” she added.

As a member of the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child, Sotoudeh defended victims of child abuse. She has also defended journalist Issa Saharkhiz and human rights activist Parvin Ardalan. Following her attempt to save the life of Arash Ramanipour, who was hung in January 2010 for crimes he had allegedly committed under the age of 18, she went on record to reveal the illegal process of conducting his execution. At that time, she was threatened that if she publicly spoke on the cases she represented, she would be arrested.

She has also opposed the “Family Protection Bill,” legislation under consideration by the Iranian Majlis (Parliament) that would allow men to marry additional wives without the consent of their first wife. The proposed legislation is opposed by many women’s rights activists and others as encouraging polygamy. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad supports the bill.

The Iranian government has arrested numerous human rights lawyers, including Mohammed Ali Dadkah, Mohammad Oliayifard, Mohammad Seifzadeh, and most recently, Mohammad Mostafei, who was forced to flee the country during his defense of Sakineh Ashtiani, sentenced to be stoned to death.

“Nasrin Sotoudeh needs to be restored to her family and to her vocation, and the Iranian authorities must end their transparently illegal attack against human rights lawyers,” Rhodes said.

Source: http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2010/09/release-human-rights-lawyer-nasrin-sotoudeh/