News Special Wire Iran lawyer for slain journalist takes refuge to avoid...

Iran lawyer for slain journalist takes refuge to avoid arrest

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Jul. 30 – A human rights lawyer representing the family of slain Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi turned up unexpectedly at the Tehran Bar Association on Saturday and began an indefinite sit-in, after police raided his home and tried to arrest him. Abdolfattah Soltani’s troubles began when he publicly accused Tehran’s Revolutionary Prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi on Monday of involvement in the July 2003 murder of Zahra Kazemi, … Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Jul. 30 – A human rights lawyer representing the family of slain Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi turned up unexpectedly at the Tehran Bar Association on Saturday and began an indefinite sit-in, after police raided his home and tried to arrest him.

Abdolfattah Soltani’s troubles began when he publicly accused Tehran’s Revolutionary Prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi on Monday of involvement in the July 2003 murder of Zahra Kazemi, who was killed in Evin Prison after being arrested while taking photographs of families of political prisoners outside Tehran’s notorious jail.

Police and agents of the capital’s public prosecutor’s office raided Soltani’s home on Wednesday, after the powerful Mortazavi issued a warrant for his arrest.

Soltani’s lawyer, Farideh Gheyrat, said the arrest warrant was illegal, as “it came out of the blue, with no prior notification or summoning of my client”.

“This morning, my client wrote a letter to Judiciary Chief [Mahmoud Shahroudi”>, in which he said that he would continue his sit-in protest inside the Tehran Bar Association until the reasons for the aggression of agents of the prosecutor’s office on his private home and his arrest warrant by the Tehran Prosecutor’s office are announced”, the state-run ILNA news agency quoted Gheyrat as saying.

Photojournalist Zahra Kazemi was tortured and raped while in detention, according to a former Iranian military doctor who had examined Kazemi at a Revolutionary Guards hospital, where she was taken after losing consciousness in Evin Prison.

Prosecutor Mortazavi himself has been implicated in her murder and a French newspaper quoted sources in Tehran as saying that Kazemi died of blows to her head by Mortazavi.

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