Iran detains 3 lawyers representing activists

Iranian authorities have arrested three lawyers on their return home from abroad.

Last Updated: Nov 14, 2010, 18:39 PM IST

Tehran: Iranian authorities have arrested
three lawyers on their return home from abroad, local media
reported on Sunday.

The arrests appear to be the latest chapter in the
crackdown by authorities on dissidents and activists since the
disputed presidential election in June last year.

The reports were today carried by six conservative and
reformist Web sites. Calls to authorities seeking confirmation
of the arrests were not immediately returned.

The reports say authorities detained Maryam Kianersi,
Maryam Karbasi and Sara Sabaghian on their return home from
Turkey yesterday. All three are women.

The three were among signatories of an open letter in
September that called for the release of prominent human
rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh.

Before her detention, Sotoudeh represented several of
the 100 activists and political figures tried on charges of
fomenting unrest following the June 2009 vote. She has been on
a hunger strike since September 25 and recently stopped
drinking liquids to protest her detention in solitary
confinement.

The three lawyers also were among the signatories of a
statement in April voicing opposition to a draft law presented
by the government to ease restrictions on polygamy. The draft
law remains under review by parliament.

Sabaghian, one of the three arrested yesterday, has
also represented Hossein Ronaghi, a blogger critical of the
government who is serving a 15-year prison sentence. He has
appealed the verdict.

Iran has arrested scores of lawyers, journalists and
political activists after the 2009 election in which President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won a second term in office.

The opposition says he won the vote through widespread
fraud.

PTI