According to his relatives, the Iranian human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani has been sentenced to 18 years in prison and banned for 20 years from exercising his profession.
Markus Löning, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, issued the following statement today (5 March):
“The sentence passed on Abdolfattah Soltani is just one example of the relentlessness and excess Iran employs against all those who defend victims of human rights violations in court.
For his courageous commitment to human rights, Abdolfattah Soltani is held in the greatest respect. I call upon the Iranian authorities to quash this unacceptable sentence and to release Abdolfattah Soltani without delay.”
Abdolfattah Soltani is a member of the Defenders of Human Rights Center founded by the Iranian Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi and closed in late 2008 by the Iranian authorities. In 2009, he received the Nuremberg International Human Rights Award. Due to his commitment to human rights, he has been imprisoned several times, most recently in September 2011.