Abdolfattah Soltani Arrested; Home and Offices Illegally Raided
On 10 September, Abdolfattah Soltani, human rights lawyer and a founding member of the Defenders of Human Rights Center was arrested. Soltani’s wife, Massoumeh Dehghan, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that security forces also illegally entered his offices, and confiscated several of his personal and family documents.
“Four men went to my husband’s legal offices. The offices were closed at the time, so they broke the lock and entered. After inspecting the premises, they went to the Revolutionary Court and arrested my husband, who was at the courts to review the case file of one of his clients. They then came to our home with my husband and inspected our entire house. They took CDs, papers, and documents. They took an unopened Shahram Nazeri music CD, which clearly indicated what was inside. They even took some video CDs of family gatherings and our children’s celebrations,” said Dehghan.
“I told the forces: ‘At least show me what you are taking with you.’ But they said: ‘You are not allowed to see.’ I asked them: ‘What are Mr. Soltani’s charges?’ They said: ‘Mr. Soltani himself knows his charges and he knows that we are allowed to search [the home].’ They took several bags full of CDs, documents, and papers belonging to myself, my children, and my husband, and said I should go to Evin Prison Court to get them back.”
“They came at 1:30 p.m. and they left the home at 4:00 p.m. along with Mr. Soltani and the things they were taking. Then they went back to my husband’s legal offices. This time the office was open and the secretary opened the door for them. They took the computers and the case files with them,” Dehghan added. “I don’t know what his charges are or where they took him.”
Abdolfattah Soltani has represented several political and human rights activists, including Akbar Ghanji, Zahra Kazemi, Zahra Baniyaghoub, and Haleh Esfandiari. He was earlier arrested in 2009 and released after two months.