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Iran human rights lawyer sentenced to 5 years in prison

[JURIST] Iranian human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani [Amnesty International appeal; Wikipedia profile] says he has received a five-year prison sentence for disclosing confidential information and engaging in propaganda against the regime, even though neither he nor his lawyers appeared in court or saw the primary evidence against him. Working with Tehran's Defenders of Human Rights Center, which is led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi [Nobel profile], Soltani has represented dissident journalist Akbar Ganji [PEN American Center profile] and the family of Canadian-Iranian photographer Zahra Kazemi [CBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive], who died in Iranian custody in July 2003.

Soltani told AFP he was cleared of spying charges. He was arrested a year ago [JURIST report] while defending two people charged with spying on Iran's nuclear program. Soltani was jailed for more than seven months before he was freed on bail. AFP has more.

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