Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Matthew Clark

10/4/2012 (2 years ago)

American Center for Law and Justice (www.aclj.org/)

The international community that rose up and cried out for Pastor Youcef's release must now stand up and demand his attorney's release as well. It is becoming clear that Iran is taking out its frustration over how Pastor Youcef's case was exposed internationally on his attorney.

Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, who represented Pastor Youcef and other religious and political prisoners

Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, who represented Pastor Youcef and other religious and political prisoners

Highlights

By Matthew Clark

American Center for Law and Justice (www.aclj.org/)

10/4/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Dadkhah, iran, Nadarkhani, prison, Lawyer, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, Youcef, ACLJ


WASHINGTON,DC (ACLJ) - The Iranian lawyer who successfully represented Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani in court, leading to his eventual release and acquittal of apostasy, has been detained and ordered to serve a lengthy prison sentence in one of Iran's most dangerous prisons.

Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, who represented Pastor Youcef and other religious and political prisoners, had been previously convicted for representing people like Pastor Youcef. He was sentenced to serve 9 years in prison, barred for 10 years from practicing or teaching law, fined $1,900, and given a choice of either 5 lashes or an additional $450 fine. In recent months, however, Dadkhah had worked out an agreement that allowed him to continue representing Pastor Youcef and that prevented him from having to serve any time in prison.

He upheld his end of that bargain, and we believe that Iran has reneged now that Pastor Youcef is no longer the focus of international attention.

Sources close to the situation informed us over the weekend that Dadkhah has been detained and forced to begin serving this lengthy prison sentence in one of Iran's most notorious prisons. He is currently incarcerated in ward 350 of Evin prison, a ward reserved for political prisoners, in a cell with 22 other prisoners.

Sources have also informed us that when asked if he was being treated well, he hesitated before saying, "yes." We know that when he was first detained three years ago he was not treated well by his Iranian captors.

Dadkhah is a world-renowned Muslim human rights attorney in Iran. He co-founded the Defenders of Human Rights Center along with Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi and others to defend human rights in Iran. In addition to defending Pastor Youcef, Dadkhah has bravely defended numerous political and religious prisoners, including 12 Christians who were tried this past Easter Sunday in Iran for their faith. Because he provides his legal services free of charge, the Iranian regime has asserted that he is "aiding and abetting" in the alleged crimes of his clients.

In an interview with Farzaneh Bazrpour of EA Worldview immediately following his July 2011 conviction, Mr. Dadkhah said:

"My profession has allowed me to work for 30 years to defend human rights. During this time I have never violated the law or been reprimanded by the Bar Association for any wrong doings. I have always tried to perform my duties to the best of my abilities. The case file against me even stated that I did not charge students for my services. Is selling my service for free a crime?"

Due to the lack of an independent legal bar in Iran, lawyers like Dadkhah who offer their services free of charge are often seen as assisting their clients in the alleged crimes.

Dadkhah risked his life to stand up for the international principle that no one should be imprisoned for their faith, fighting diligently for Pastor Youcef's release. It is equally true that no attorney should ever be imprisoned simply for representing someone that the government doesn't like, period. Everyone, including the persecuted, deserves legal representation in any society.

The international community that rose up and cried out for Pastor Youcef's release must now stand up and demand his attorney's release as well. It is becoming clear that Iran is taking out its frustration over how Pastor Youcef's case was exposed internationally on his attorney.

The United Nations and nations with diplomatic relations with Iran must once again take action against Iran's abuse of those who defend human rights. The International Bar Association should take a strong and public stand against criminalizing an attorney's merciful actions. We join Amnesty International and other human rights organizations in calling for Dadkhah's immediate release.

We will continue to keep you up to date as we learn more information and will continue working to secure the release of Dadkhah.

---

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) focuses on constitutional law and is based in Washington, D.C. This article is used with permission.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Middle East

ISIS does the unexpected in latest shocking execution images Watch

Image of The ISIS militants are photographed hugging the blindfolded accused gay men.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New images claim to show ISIS militants showing compassion. Two accused gay men were set to be stoned to death, however, prior to the stoning, their executioners did something strange and unexpected. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ISIS fighters were ... continue reading


White House admits fault: Two hostages accidentally killed in U.S. drone strike Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A U.S. counterterrorism operation targeting an al Qaeda compound in January accidentally killed two innocent hostages, including one American. President Barack Obama, making the announcement this week confirmed that a U.S. military drone that targeted the ... continue reading


U.S. warships monitoring Iranian traffic off coast of Yemen Watch

Image of U.S. President Barack Obama told reporters that America has been clear in its messages to Tehran on sending weapons to Houthi rebels inside Yemen.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The United States has deployed warships to Yemen in order to monitor nearby Iranian vessels. Officials say this gives America "options" on how it could react to Iran's behavior in the region. Ships traveling from Iran could be trafficking arms to Houthi rebels. ... continue reading


Tensions mount between U.S. and Iran over nuclear talks, Yemen Watch

Image of Iran's annual Army Day military parade showcased new weapon systems and banners that read

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

On April 18 Iran marked its national Army Day with a military parade with intent to intimidate and threaten the west, especially the U.S. and Israel, showcasing new weapons systems and even a truck which carried a large banner that read "Death to Israel." LOS ... continue reading


ISIS takes over government functions: Birth certificates, vaccinations, 'till death do us part... Watch

Image of Unlike the Taliban, ISIS allows vaccinations against polio. While in the grip of Islamist State, polio vaccinations continue unabated throughout Iraq.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Islamic State, as in the nightmarish dictatorial regimes of past and present - Hitler's Germany, Mussolini's Italy and present day North Korea have massive bureaucratic systems in order to oppress the citizen on every level. A peek into the brutal totalitarian ... continue reading


ISIS destroys Christian graves as part of horrific religious purge Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

ISIS continuously commits heinous acts waging purge and terror against other religions, documented through photos and videos shared online. Recently, the terrorist group released a set of undated photos showing militants armed with sledgehammers destroying Christian ... continue reading


Muslim migrants arrested for throwing Christians off vessel, victims feared dead Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fifteen Muslim migrants from Sicily were arrested after being accused of throwing 12 Christians overboard as they cross from Libya to Italy last Wednesday. According to the Palermo police, they detained the suspected perpetrators, while the victims are feared to be ... continue reading


Israeli Prime Minister warns of second Holocaust in memorial speech Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During his speech at a Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem for a commemorative event, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared Israel's current state with the operations of Washington to that of the time of Hitler. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading


Israeli Jews remember Holocaust in remarkable way on 70th anniversary of Nazi death camp liberation (PHOTOS) Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

People all across Israel came to a complete standstill for two-minutes to mark the Holocaust memorial day. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As sirens wailed across the country, the silence was echoing. Playgrounds, road traffic and beaches all came to a complete ... continue reading


Dead Sea dying as the River Jordan dries up Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Dead Sea, the famed Biblical body of water tread by prophets and kings, is increasingly endangered by enormous sinkholes. Coupled with the fact that the River Jordan is evaporation the Dead Sea could be literally - dying. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Peter 5:5-14
5 In the same way, younger people, be subject to the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17
2 for you have said: love is built to last for ever, ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 16:15-20
15 And he said to them, 'Go out to the whole world; ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 25th, 2015 Image

St. Mark
April 25: The second Gospel was written by St. Mark, who, in the New ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter