Iranian human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani has been sentenced to 18 years in prison by what the Iranian government refers to as “courts.” To his credit, Soltani refused to defend himself before the Iranian tribunal which blindly carries out the dictates of the religious leaders of the country.
Soltani co-founded the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC) with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi. Just the combination of human rights and the law was enough to make him a public enemy in Iran. He was convicted of spreading anti-government propaganda and endangering national security. That is how the mullahs refer to human rights law: “propoganda” and a threat to national security.
His charges included “accepting an unlawful award” in connection with his Nuremburg International Human Rights Award. He received his prestigious award in 2009. Other human rights figures have been given similarly draconian sentences. Mohammad Ali Dadkhah was sentenced to nine years in prison, a ten year ban from teaching in universities, and a ten year ban from practicing as an attorney.
Notably, he was also banned from practicing law for 20 years. That should protect the Islamic Republic — one less lawyer.