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Home > English > Iran: Sentencing of human rights lawyer Amir Salar Davoodi

Iran: Sentencing of human rights lawyer Amir Salar Davoodi

Thursday 6 June 2019

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Iran.

New information:

The Observatory has been informed by the League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran (LDDHI) about the sentencing of Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi, a human rights lawyer.

According to information received on June 1, 2019, Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolution Court in Tehran sentenced Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi to a total of 30 years in prison (to be served concurrently) [1], 111 lashes, a fine of 60 million Rial, and deprived him of his social rights [2] for two years. Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi was found guilty on several charges, including 15 years under Article 498 of the Islamic Penal Code (“establishing a group to overthrow the system”) for establishing a group through a public channel on the messaging application Telegram. To date other charges are not known. Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi has decided not to appeal the sentence.

The charge of “establishing a group to overthrow the system” stems from Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi’s creation of a public channel named “withoutretouch” on the messaging application Telegram, on which he reported news and events regarding lawyers and the Bar Association in Iran. This channel was also used to share personal opinions on various topics, including objections to the detention of lawyers including Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh [3] and Messrs. Arash Kaykhosravi and Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi [4], and other lawyers, as well as statements criticising the actions of the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the former Head of the Judiciary Sadeq Larijani.

Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi was detained in solitary confinement for over six months in Ward 241 of Tehran’s Evin prison, from his arrest on November 20, 2018 until June 3, 2019, when he was transferred to a dormitory ward in Evin prison. Ward 241 is run by the Intelligence Protection Unit of the Judiciary.

The Observatory recalls that several other human rights lawyers are currently detained for exercising their profession or for defending human rights, including Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh, and Messrs. Mohammad Najafi, [5] Farhad Mohammadi, and Massood Shamsnejad. [6] Others have been released on bail pending trial.

The Observatory condemns the sentencing and ongoing judicial harassment of Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi, which seems to be aimed only at punishing him for the legitimate exercise of his rights.

Background information:

On November 20, 2018, Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi was arrested in Tehran, his office and house were searched, and he was placed in solitary confinement in Tehran’s Evin prison. On the same day, the Prosecutor’s Office issued a one-month detention order against him. Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi was charged with “gathering and colluding against national security” (Article 610 of Islamic Penal Code). Mr. Davoodi has previously represented various political prisoners and defendants belonging to religious and ethnic minorities.

On January 21, 2019, Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi was charged with “insulting the Leader” (Article 514 of the Islamic Penal Code) and “spreading propaganda against the system” (Article 500), and his case was referred to Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolution Court of Tehran. Although his parents were allowed to visit him on January 21, 2019, he was still denied visits from his wife, Ms. Tannaz Kolahchian, who is also a lawyer. Ms. Tannaz Kolahchian was summoned to the Prosecutor’s Office on January 5, 2019 and interrogated on charges of “spreading propaganda against the system” (Article 500), but her case was later closed.

Information received on April 16, 2019, relates that Branch 2 of the Prosecutor’s Office in Tehran’s Evin prison issued another indictment against Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi on charges of “cooperating with hostile governments through giving interviews to VOA” (purportedly under Article 508 of the Islamic Penal Code) and “establishing a group to overthrow the system” (Article 498). The case was referred to Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolution Court in Tehran.

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/iran-sentencing-of-human-rights-lawyer-amir-salar-davoodi

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