Court of appeal upholds deportation of human rights attorney Mohammad Najafi

An appeals court upheld a 13-year prison sentence of human rights attorney Mohammad Najafi who was jailed in 2018 after voicing support for people detained during anti-government protests, the state-run IRNA news agency reported on Sunday, Aril 14, 2019.

Mohammad Najafi was sentenced in December to 10 years for “conveying information to a hostile country” through interviews with foreign media, two years for insulting the supreme leader and one year for publicly supporting opposition groups.

Mohammad Najafi had been imprisoned since October 28, 2018, for informing media outlets about the suspicious case of Vahid Heydari, 22, who died in detention at the 12th Police Station in Arak sometime between the end of December 2017 and the beginning of January 2018.

Najafi told media outlets at the time that the authorities were trying to cover up the real reason for Heydari’s death by claiming he had committed suicide.

Najafi is not the only lawyer who is currently behind bars in Iran for performing his legal work.

In another development on April 16, 2019, Branch 2 of the Prosecutor’s Office in Tehran’s Evin prison issued an indictment against Amir Salar Davoudi on charges of “cooperating with hostile governments through giving interviews to VOA and “establishing a group to overthrow the system.”

It is believed that the second charge is linked to his peaceful activities including creation of a public channel called “withoutretouch” on the messaging application Telegram, on which he reported news and events regarding lawyers and the Bar Association.

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