As a number of Baha’is in Iran await trial for providing higher education to youth barred from university, the Baha’i International Community has been distressed to learn of the arrest of a lawyer who was preparing to defend them, reports the Baha’i World News Service.
Abdolfattah Soltani, a senior member of the legal team representing the prisoners, was arrested last weekend. Soltani was a co-founder of the Defenders of Human Rights Centre along with four other lawyers including Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi. The Tehran-based centre was shut down in a police raid in December 2008.
Seven Baha’is are still in prison in connection with their involvement in an informal educational programme in which Baha’i professors, debarred by the Iranian government from practicing their professions, voluntarily offer their services to teach young community members who are banned from higher education.