(27 July 2010) Iranian authorities should end their efforts to arrest Mohammad Mostafaee, a human rights lawyer whose work came into international focus with his defense of Sakineh Ashtiani, a woman sentenced to be stoned to death for adultery, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today.
In what is being interpreted as a pressure tactic to force Mostafaee to turn himself in, his wife, Fereshteh Halimi, and brother-in-law, Farhad Halimi, neither of whom is involved in human rights work, were detained at the same time shortly after Mostafaee was last summoned on Saturday, 24 July. Mostafaee was first summoned to a security court for interrogation on 21 July. His current whereabouts are unknown.
“In advocating against the stoning of his client, Mostafaee has broken no laws, rather, he has tried to uphold the laws and rights of Iranian citizens,” stated Hadi Ghaemi, spokesperson for the Campaign.
“The apparent effort to halt Mostafaee’s important work is in direct violation of Iran’s international human rights obligation to allow for independent legal counsel,” he added.
The Campaign also called for the immediate release of Mostafaee’s wife and brother-in-law, whom it said were “essentially hostages who have been kidnapped.”