Iran: Soltani

Abdolfattah Soltani is a well-known human rights lawyer and the lawyer for the family of Zahra Kazemi, an Iranian-Canadian photojournalist murdered in Iran. In October 2003, the Iranian Parliament released its inquiry into the death of Zahra Kazemi and concluded that Saeed Mortazavi, Prosecutor General of Tehran, and other members of the judiciary were directly involved in her death.


On July 27, 2005, two warrants were issued, accusing Abdolfattah Soltani of releasing 'secret and classified national intelligence information' in connection with his work defending an espionage case. Abdolfattah Soltani was arrested on July 30, 2005 when he took part in a sit-in protest at the Bar of Tehran against both a warrant for his arrest and a search warrant for his home. Abdolfattah Soltani was held in solitary confinement from July to September of 2005. In September of 2005 he was moved to a cell with another prisoner. The detention was extended by three months.


After seven months in prison, Mr. Soltani was released temporarily following a bail hearing. His bail had originally been set at 8 billion Rials (about $870,000 US), an amount that far exceeded normal bail requirements, but it was later reduced to 1 billion Rials (about $109,504 US) due to pressure from his lawyers.


His first court appearance was held on April 5, 2006.  His lawyers had still not been allowed access to his case file.  In addition to the charge of espionage, he was charged with 'insulting the regime', 'propaganda against the regime', and 'acting against national security'.


On July 16, 2006, the Revolutionary Court acquitted him of a previous charge of espionage but convicted him of 'disclosing confidential documents' with a sentence of 4 years in prison, and convicted of 'propaganda against the system' with a sentence of 1 year in prison. 


In February 2007, the Law Society sent letters of intervention to Iranian authorities.


Letter of Intervention