Khalil Bahramian, defence attorney to several Iranian political prisoners, was sentenced to 18 months in prison today and also banned from practising law for 10 years.
“I am charged with propaganda against the regime, insulting the head of the judiciary and activity against national security but I have appealed the sentence they gave me;” Bahramian told Zamaneh.
Bahramian was the defence attorney for five political prisoners that were hanged in Evin Prison last May amidst fierce protest in Kurdistan Province: Farzad Kamangar, Shirin Alam Holi, Farhad Vakili, Ali Heydarian and Mehdi Eslamian.
Bahramian is also the lawyer for two other political prisoners sentenced to death.
Authorities have been targeting Iranian lawyers in recent months. Last month, the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran issued a joint statement with the Iranian Nobel Peace laureate, Shirin Ebadi, condemning the Islamic Republic’s “systematic and targeted attacks against human rights activists and lawyers.”
Last month, human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh was sentenced to 11 years in prison and was banned from practising law for 20 years. In November, Moahmmad Seyfzadeh, another member of the Human Rights Defenders Centre, was sentenced to 9 years in prison and was banned from practising law for 10 years.
Mohammad Ali Dadkhah and Abdolfattah Soltani, two more human rights attorneys, are currently awaiting trial, and Mohammad Mostafayi, another lawyer, had to flee Iran under threat of prosecution.
Several Iranian lawyers have discussed their cases with Persian-speaking media based in other countries, in an attempt to raise awareness and gain international support. In response, the judiciary has rebuked those lawyers, accusing them of disrespect for their profession.
Naghi Mahmoodi, a defence attorney practising in Azerbaijan province, told Zamaneh that his licence to practice law was not renewed last month because he had given interviews to foreign media about the political cases against some of his clients.
Mahmoodi told Zamaneh that the authorities are creating extreme pressure for human rights lawyers in order to discourage them from taking on such cases.