Mohammad Seifzadeh, an Iranian lawyer detained two weeks ago, is under severe pressure from the Islamic Republic authorities and his life is in danger, according to his attorney.
Marzieh Nikara, Seifzadeh’s attorney told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that she is unable to gain information regarding her client’s case, and the authorities have not yet allowed her to read his file.
Nikara told the Campaign: “Unfortunately, when I went to the Orumiyeh Intelligence Office with Mr. Seifzadeh’s son on 23 April, they did not allow me to visit with my client. I don’t even know on what day and where exactly he was detained, and I wasn’t allowed to read his file, either. Only his son was allowed to see him for about two minutes. He said his father has lost a lot of weight, he was limping, and that it was quite clear he was under stress.”
She added: “We had no news of Mr. Seifzadeh for two weeks. It appears that he went to Orumiyeh for a research project on 6 April. He contacted his home on 21 April, and informed [his family] that he was inside the Orumiyeh Intelligence Office. But the investigating judge in the case said Mr. Seifzadeh was detained on 11 April. The investigative judge said that when his case arrived in the branch, he ordered [Seifzadeh’s] interrogator to allow him to contact his family that same day, but this did not happen until 21 April.”
According to Nikara, Seifzadeh is accused of “acting against national security through illegal exit,’ but she has not been informed of any evidence that supports these allegations.
Seifzadeh is currently under temporary detention orders at the ministry of Intelligence. Nikara added: “Now what is important is that my client is ill, he has a heart condition, and if this situation should continue, his life could be in danger.”
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has called for the immediate release of Mohammad Seifzadeh.
Iranian Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi has also called on the UN special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers to use all its legal powers for the release of Seifzadeh.
A prominent human rights lawyer and one of the founders of the Human Rights Defenders Centre, Seifzadeh was arrested last November and sentenced to nine years in prison and a 10-year ban from practicing law. He is charged with “collusion and assembly with intent to disturb national security, propaganda activities against the regime and establishment of the Human Rights Defenders Centre.” His sentence was under review at the appellate court.