Iran’s leading human rights lawyer begins serving out 9-year jail term

Mohammad Ali Dadkhah

A prominent Iranian human rights lawyer has begun serving out a nine-year jail-term.

According to opposition site Kaleme, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah has been transferred to ward 350 of the notorious Evin Prison in order to serve out the lengthy prison sentence.

In May 2011, Dadkhah was tried for charges such as membership in human rights organisation, and giving interviews to foreign media. In July that year, Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced him to nine years in prison and a ten-year ban on his legal practice and teaching.

Dadkhah has handled the cases of many political dissident and student activists arrested in the aftermath of the widely contested 2009 presidential election, including blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki and veteran political figure Ebrahim Yazdi.

He has also defended Youcef Naderkhani, a Christian pastor who was on death row for apostasy. Naderkhani was recently released after enduring three years of imprisonment.

Dadkhah is a member of the Defenders of Human Rights Centre (DHRC), a rights organisation headed by Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi. Most of the organisation’s leading figures including Mohammad Seifzadeh, Abdolfattah Soltani and Nasrin Sotoudeh are currently in prison for their activities as human rights lawyers.

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