Sentenced for Defending Human rights Abdolfattah Soltani Is Denied Leave
HRANA: Abdolfattah Soltani, a lawyer and a founder of the Defenders of Human Rights Center, was arrested on Saturday August 10, 2011 in the evening. On January 8, 2012, Branch 26 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court, headed by Judge Pirabbasi, condemned him on three charges for “receiving the Human Rights Award from Nuremberg, Germany, interviewing with the media regarding his clients’ cases, and participation in establishing the Defenders of Human Rights Center.” He refused to attend the trial due to its lack of competence to try his case.
In a note, Ma’sumeh Dehqan, Mr. Abdolfattah Soltani’s wife, complained about four years imprisonment of her husband without leave and stated: “Mr. Soltani’s mother is old and seriously ill. He is suffering from blood pressure fluctuation and digestive illness. Rule of law and humanity make it necessary for him to have a leave.”
According to HRANA, quoting Saham News, Mr. Soltani has been denied even one-day's leave from prison for close to four years.
One year later, Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court condemned Ms. Dehqan to one-year imprisonment, five years probation, and five years ban on leaving the country. Her complete note regarding the deprivation of their rights is reproduced here:
In the name of God
On June 16, 2009, my cell phone rang and someone informed me “Abdolfattah Soltani was arrested.” People told me that several individuals had hung around his office since that morning. They entered his office and took him around 3 p.m. The warrant was dated before the election. This means that it was prepared and planned ahead of time. There was no name on the warrant meaning that they could arrest anyone (illegally of course!)
On June 17, 2009, the families of detainees and several influential and effective officials, who managed the election and the country up until a few days earlier, gathered in front of the Public Prosecutor’s Office demanding an explanation from the Public Prosecutor. Ms. Tajernia, Ms. Ramezanzadeh, Ms. Safa’i, Ms. Mohtashamipur, and others were among them. I joined them; we insisted to speak with the Public Prosecutor, and he allowed us in. The room was full of able and respectable women who faced the Public Prosecutor crying their innocence! I was amazed to see Ms. Mohtashamipur’s bravery. She ignored the Public Prosecutor and did not enter the room. Discussions became louder and finally the Public Prosecutor said, “They were thinking of violations. We will investigate. You write letters and express your requests. Be assured that they are healthy and will be released one of these days.”
Today, six years have passed since that date. On June 16, 2009, Mr. Soltani was imprisoned for “doubting the election,” A charge that is not to be found in any legal text. He was released from the Evin Prison, Section 209, after four months.
His closed case was reopened after two years in 2011. Branch 26 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Pirabbasi condemned Mr. Soltani to 18 years imprisonment. Branch 54 of the Appeals Court reduced the sentence to 13 years. He returned to the prison and has remained at the Evin Prison for close to four years without an hour's leave.
On Tuesday June 16, 2015, the anniversary of my husband’s arrest in 2009, hoping for his minimum rights following several previous attempts, I took my written request for leave for my husband to the office of the Supervising Assistant Public Prosecutor in prison, Mr. Khodabakhshi. I wrote that Mr. Soltani’s mother is old and seriously ill. He is suffering from blood pressure fluctuation and digestive illness. Rule of law and humanity make it necessary for him to have a leave. However, Mr. Khodabakhshi was not at his office and a note on the door indicated that he is only present on Mondays. As on previous occasions, I gave my letter to his secretary without a registration number and left.