A prominent Iranian activist and lawyer has been sentenced to flogging and 30 years in prison, after he set up a channel on the encrypted messaging platform Telegram, highlighting human rights abuses in Iran.
Amirsalar Davoudi was found guilty of “propaganda against the state” and “insulting officials” by a revolutionary court, Radio Farda reported Monday. According to his lawyer, Davoudi was also accused of “collaborating with an enemy state,” after interviewing with Voice of America’s Persian-language channel.
Called “Without Retouch,” Davoudi used his Telegram platform to hold the Iranian regime accountable for the crimes committed against its own people.
He was arrested in November 2018 and has since been detained in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison with extremely limited access to his family and legal representation.
“Amirsalar Davoudi is the latest victim of a vicious crackdown waged by the Iranian authorities against human rights lawyers over the past two years, which has seen Iranian courts hand out increasingly harsh sentences to stop them from being able to carry out their work,” Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Philip Luther, said in a statement.
Davoudi is the third renowned lawyer and human rights activist currently behind bars in Iran.
In March, prominent women’s rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh was sentenced to 38 years and six months in prison and 148 lashes for defending protesters against the Islamic Republic’s mandatory hijab laws.
Sotoudeh was arrest in June 2018 and told at the time that she would be serving a five-year sentence, after being convicted in absentia on espionage-related charges. Fellow human rights activist Mohammad Najafi was sentenced to a total of 17 years in prison and 74 lashes in three separate cases.
In a statement, Amnesty said they are monitoring the cases of dozens of Iranian human rights activists and lawyers who have either been arrested or have faced prosecution since January 2018.
Those include Arash Keykhosravi, Ghassem Sholeh-Sa’di, Farokh Forouzan, Mostafa Daneshjoo, Mostafa Tork Hamadani, Payam Derafshan, and Zeynab Taheri.
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