Saturday, November 6, 2010
Amnesty concerned about arrest of Sakineh's lawyer and son
Amnesty International on 3 November called on the Iranian authorities to immediately release the lawyer and son of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman who is at risk of execution. The call came amid increased international concern for Ashtiani, a 43-year-old mother of two, held on death row since her conviction in 2006 on charges of “adultery while married”. These dententions leave her without legal representation and without access to familiy visits, Amnesty said.
The Iranian State Prosecutor, in his role as spokesperson for the judiciary, confirmed on Monday that Javid Houtan Kiyan, Sakineh Ashtiani’s lawyer, had been arrested on October 10 and that he was still under investigation for links to “anti-revolutionary groups abroad”. He also said that Javid Houtan Kiyan had been found in possession of three forged or duplicate ID cards.
Media reports have said that Javid Houtan Kiyan was arrested along with Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, the son of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, and two German nationals.
“We fear that Javid Houtan Kiyan may have been detained for no more than fulfilling his responsibilities as Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s lawyer, and for talking to foreign nationals” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.
The Iranian authorities have not confirmed either the arrest or the whereabouts of Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, Sakineh Ashtiani’s son. Amnesty International has been unable to contact him since and believes he too has indeed been arrested.
The two German nationals appear to have been conducting an interview with Sajjad Ghaderzadeh and Javid Houtan Kiyan in the latter’s office when all four were arrested, according to reports received by Amnesty International. The State Prosecutor Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei confirmed on 11 October that two foreign nationals had been arrested. On 1 November he said that the two Germans had been granted consular access.