Lawyer In Stoning Case Calls On Iran Judiciary To Release His Wife, Brother-In-Law
Prominent Iranian lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei, who
went into hiding more than a week ago, has called on the
Iranian authorities to end the "hostage taking" of his wife and
Mohammad Mostafaei (file photo)
"If you believe in God, let them go" he said in anopen
letter to Tehran's
prosecutor, Jafar Dolatabadi, adding that he would turn himself in if they
were released and if he would be tried in a "just court."
Mostafaei's wife and her brother, Fereshteh and Farhad Halimi, were arrested
on July 23 and judiciary officials have said that they won't let them go
until he gives himself up.
Mostafaei's colleagues tell RFE/RL he's come under pressure for defending
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a woman who was sentenced to death by stoning
after being convicted of adultery.
Mostafaei says in his letter, which was e-mailed to several people, that he
learned about the "unlawful" arrest of his wife and brother-in-law on July
24 through his father-in-law.
The same day, he had been summoned to Evin prison and interrogated. After he
left Evin, he says he received a phone call and was summoned again.
He said he was planning to go to Evin the next day, but changed his mind
after he learned about the arrests of his loved ones. He accuses a district
prosecutor, Shahid Moghdas, of abuse of power in their arrest.
"I'm forced to bear being away from my wife, my daughter, and my family so
that maybe laws will justly rule in our country," Mostafaei said.
Mostafaei, who has defended dozens of children on death row, says his only
concern in recent years has been to save the lives of individuals who have
been unjustly sentenced to death. He adds that he's managed to save the
lives of 18 child offenders.
Human Rights Watch called
on Iran on July 30 to stop harassing and intimidating Mostafaei, "who has
spent his career defending juveniles and the underprivileged, including many
who were sentenced to execution."
Copyright (c) 2010 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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