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Iran jails dissident lawyer for 9 years

Associated Press / July 5, 2011

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TEHRAN - Iran’s hard-line judiciary has sentenced a prominent human rights lawyer to nine years in jail and barred him from working as an attorney for 10 years after he was convicted of seeking to overthrow the ruling system.

Lawyer Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, a founder along with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi of the Center for the Defenders of Human Rights, was also banned from teaching at university for 10 years.

The semiofficial ISNA news agency reported yesterday the lawyer has also been sentenced to pay the equivalent of $300 dollars for possessing a satellite TV receiver in his apartment. Dadkhah says he will appeal.

The lawyer represented activists and opposition supporters arrested after the disputed 2009 presidential election.

The Tehran regime has taken a variety of steps to rein in dissidents since the antigovernment protests that broke out after the election

In a separate development over the weekend, Iran’s telecommunications minister, Reza Taqipour, said the country is taking technical measures to combat a program reportedly developed by the United States to bring online access to dissidents around the world.

Taqipour was quoted as saying that the program is part of a cultural invasion by Iran’s enemies aimed at promoting dissent and undermining Iran’s ruling system.

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