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IRAN: Prominent human rights lawyer arrested in Tehran [Updated]

September 4, 2010 | 11:45 am
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Iranian authorities on Saturday arrested the prominent lawyer and women's rights activist Nasrine Sotoudeh, her husband told Babylon & Beyond.

Sotoudeh, in her 40s, is among the small cadre of courageous and outspoken lawyers who risk liberty and their careers to take the country's politically motivated court system to defend political dissidents, activists, women and religious and ethnic minorities.

[Updated, Sept. 5, 5:55 a.m., PDT: Sotoudeh's lawyer visited Tehran's Evin Prison hours ago and was told that her client was under interrogation for an indefinite time, according to Reza Khandan, Sotoudeh's husband. "I do not know what the accusations are," Khandan told the Times. "But last week when the security men came to seize the hard drives of the computers the search warrant read, 'Nasrin Sotoudeh, accused of acting against national security and collusion.' But the search warrant did not clarify collusion with whom or which country."]

Sotoudeh, also a mother, has been frequently quoted in the domestic and international media. Earlier this year, she voiced her outrage when one of her clients, Arash Rahmanipour, was executed at dawn without her notification. She is the winner of several international human rights awards for her ardent efforts on behalf of those facing off against the country's legal system. 

Sotoudeh represents the prominent political activist and journalist Issa Saharkhiz, who has been jailed since Iran's disputed presidential elections.

This week government henchmen stormed her home and office, seizing her files and computers, her husband said.

Her family has no news about her current whereabouts.

-- Borzou Daragahi in Beirut

Photo: Nasrine Sotoudeh in a 2007 photo. Credit: Newsha Tavakolian / Polaris Images for The Times

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