[QODLink]
Middle East
Jail sentence for Iranian dissident reported
Latest ruling against Abdolfattah Soltani, a prominent human-rights lawyer, cannot be appealed, his daughter says.
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2012 01:08
Soltani co-founded a human rights group with Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi [EPA]

Abdolfattah Soltani, a prominent Iranian human-rights lawyer, has been sentenced to 13 years in prison by a Tehran revolutionary court, according to his daughter.

Maede Soltani, who lives in Germany, said on Tuesday that her family was officially notified of last week's ruling, which came during the appeals process.

She told the Associated Press news agency that the "politically motivated" ruling could not be appealed a second time.

Abdolfattah Soltani, 58, was arrested last year.

A court in March initially sentenced him to 18 years in prison on various charges, including co-founding the Centre for Human Rights Defenders, spreading anti-government propaganda and endangering national security.

"My father was told that his sentence would be reduced [further] if he would apologise and speak out against Ms Ebadi in an open letter or an interview," Maede Soltani said.

"He declined."

'Political prisoner'

Amnesty International, the UK-based rights montor, maintains Soltani is a "non-violent political prisoner who is being jailed only for his legitimate activities'' as a human rights lawyer.

"Abdolfattah Soltani is one of the bravest human rights defenders in Iran," the group said after his detention last September, urging his immediate release.

Abdolfattah Soltani was previously arrested for seven months in 2005 and again for several months in the wake of Iran's disputed presidential elections in 2009.

The revolutionary court held the decision to transfer Soltani to a remote prison in the city of Borazjan, about 1,000 km southwest of Tehran, Maede Soltani said, adding that the family will barely be able to visit him there.

Working alongside Ebadi, Soltani also represented the family of photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian of Iranian origin who was arrested for taking photographs in front of Evin prison and died several days later in the prison, possibly after being tortured.

An investigative panel concluded Kazemi died of a fractured skull and brain hemorrhage caused by a "physical attack", but the findings were rejected by Iran's conservative judiciary.

325

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
The Khmer Rouge tribunal is set to hear genocide charges for targeting ethnic Vietnamese and Cham Muslims.
'I'm dying anyway, one piece at a time' said Steve Fobister, who suffers from disabilities caused by mercury poisoning.
The world's newest professional sport comes from an unlikely source: video games.
join our mailing list