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Iranian pastor’s lawyer still faces 9 year imprisonment

Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkani's lawyer still faces 9 year imprisonment

ICC Note:

The lawyer of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani who was released on Saturday after nearly three years in an Iranian prison, still faces a nine year jail term. While media attention will soon subside following the pastor’s release, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) reminds us that we must still remember and defend the pastor’s courageous human rights lawyer whose plight may just be beginning. "It is important to remember that… Pastor Youcef's… lawyer, a dedicated servant, remains under this threat,” the ACLJ said. “Numerous human rights lawyers in Iran are already imprisoned.”

By: Katherine Weber

09/13/2012 Iran (Christian Today)- The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which has closely followed the cases of both Nadarkhani and Dadkhah, says that now is the time for the international community to turn its focus to Dadkhah, as he is one of many human rights lawyers who face imprisonment in Iran.

"It is important to remember that after the press subsides on Pastor Youcef's story, his lawyer, a dedicated servant, remains under this threat. Numerous human rights lawyers in Iran are already imprisoned. We will continue to speak out on the numerous human rights abuses in Iran, including those that the attorneys who defend prisoners of conscience face," the ACLJ said of Dadkhah, who legally represented Nadarkhani at his Sept. 8 hearing.

Dadkhah co-founded Iran's now-banned Center for the Defense of Human Rights along with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, Abdolfattah Soltani, Mohammad Seifzadeh, and Mohammad Sharif. He is one of Iran's few human rights lawyers who has yet to be imprisoned by the Iranian government.

Previously, the lawyer has defended 11 Christians in Bandar Anzaly and eight Christians in Shiraz who were arrested for their religious activity.

As the ACLJ previously told The Christian Post of Dadkhah: "He has no personal reason, other than that he believes in human rights, to represent these minority groups, whether it's political opposition or religious minorities, and [goes] out of his way to do so. He really does believe in those human rights."

Dadkhah was informed last month that he would be receiving a nine-year prison sentence for "acting against the national security, spreading propaganda against the regime and keeping banned books at home."

Although the lawyer still faces danger, the fruits of his labor can be seen through the recent release of evangelical Christian Youcef Nadarkhani, who had been imprisoned since Oct. 2009 for apostasy.

As the ACLJ told The Christian Post via email, Nadarkhani's release can serve as an example of why it is important to pursue Iran for its religious freedom indiscretions, as more religious prisoners, like Nadarkhani, may be released.

[Full Story]

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