Two Iranian legal professionals and a civil rights activist have been amongst a bunch organizing a authorized problem to Iran’s prime leader and the authorities over their disastrous dealing with of the pandemic.
But earlier than they may even file their grievance, they have been seized and incarcerated.
Now identified on Iranian social media as “the health defenders,” their case has attracted widespread consideration, though their trial in Tehran shouldn’t be open to the public.
“We were still discussing the complaint and what to do when 15 intelligence agents from the judiciary violently broke into the office and arrested us,” the civil rights activist, Mehdi Mahmoudian, mentioned in a telephone interview from Tehran’s high-security Evin jail, the place he’s being held alongside along with his co-defendants, Mostafa Nili and Arash Kaykhosravi, each legal professionals.
Mr. Mahmoudian was amongst a bunch of 9 Iranian legal professionals and civil rights activists who had gathered in a Tehran workplace one afternoon in August to focus on a draft of a lawsuit they deliberate to file towards the country’s prime officers. He mentioned they’d been planning to sue Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the authorities on prices of mismanaging the pandemic and hampering the vaccine rollout with a politically motivated ban by Mr. Khamenei on importing vaccines made in the United States and Britain.
Mr. Mahmoudian, Mr. Nili and Mr. Kaykhosravi are charged with spreading propaganda towards the state and disruption of public order in a trial that started in late October in Tehran’s Revolutionary Court — a particular courtroom for political instances and political prisoners. They are additionally charged with forming and belonging to an enemy group — a reference to a human rights group they established referred to as “Citizens Rights Protection Association.” If convicted, they may every face up to 10 years in jail.
An announcement final week by a bunch of worldwide rights organizations, together with Human Rights Watch and PEN America, referred to as for his or her instant launch and requested the United Nations to elevate their case with Iran’s authorities.
Iran’s U.N. mission didn’t reply to questions on the three prisoners.