Three more human rights attorneys in Iran were handed unjust prison sentences in July 2021 amid an ongoing campaign to eliminate due process for activists and dissidents by intimidating the lawyers who defend them, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned.
At least four defense lawyers were imprisoned in the country on trumped-up charges as of August 2021 (Nasrin Sotoudeh, Mohammad Najafi, Soheila Hejab, and Giti Pourfazel), and at least two additional lawyers (Farzaneh Zilabi and Mohammad Hadi Erfanian-Kaseb) were prosecuted on false charges in June 2021.
Javad Alikordi, a defense attorney and law professor, was taken to Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad, northeastern Iran, on July 15, 2021, to begin serving a two-year prison sentence for running a Telegram messaging app social media channel.
Any peaceful action, including appearing in public without your headscarf if you are a woman, or promoting human rights as a defense attorney can be prosecuted as a national security crime in Iran, where the state is not only trying to eliminate all forms of dissent and criticism of its policies but also imprisons the lawyers who try to defend activists.
Alikordi, a former member of the City Council in Sabzevar, Khorasan Razavi Province, was arrested by Intelligence Ministry agents in Mashhad on April 22, 2020, and held in solitary confinement for more than a month.
He was tried at Branch 4 of the Revolutionary Court in Mashhad presided by Judge Mansouri [first name unknown] at an unknown date and convicted of “creating and managing a channel on Telegram (messaging app) with the intention of overthrowing the state” (6.5 years in prison), “insulting the supreme leader” (1.5 years), and “propaganda against the state” (eight months).
Upon appeal, his 6.5-year prison sentence for “creating and managing a channel on Telegram (messaging app) with the intention of overthrowing the state” was reduced to two years in prison, the length of time he must remain behind bars according to Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code.
Source: Iran Human Rights