AFP: Iran puts top human rights lawyer on trial

Oct 19, 20100 comments

TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran has put on trial Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, a founding member of Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi’s rights group, on charges of spreading propaganda against the regime, an opposition website said on Tuesday. The hearing session was held on Sunday, during which Dadkhah was accused of “propaganda against the establishment” as well as “possessing a weapon,” Rahesabz website said. The report said the court would announce its ruling in the next few days. Dadkhah is a prominent human rights lawyer and founding member of Ebadi’s Human Rights Defenders Centre. The group is outspokenly critical of the human rights situation in Iran, and has defended scores of political prisoners, student activists and dissidents in recent years. But it has faced mounting pressure since December 2008 after its office was shut down in a police raid. Dadkhah was arrested in July 2009 in a crackdown on supporters of opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi after mass street protests rejected the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He was later freed after posting a bail of five billion rials (around 500,000 dollars). Dozens of senior reformist figures and journalists as well as protesters were rounded up in the aftermath of the June 2009 election, many of whom were put on trial on charges of seeking to overthrow the regime through what many Iranian officials called a “velvet coup.” Source: