Two Iranian attorneys and a civil rights activist had been amongst a bunch organizing a authorized problem to Iran’s prime chief and the federal government over their disastrous dealing with of the pandemic.
However earlier than they might even file their grievance, they had been seized and incarcerated.
Now known on Iranian social media as “the health defenders,” their case has attracted widespread consideration, despite the fact that their trial in Tehran is just not open to the general public.
“We had been nonetheless discussing the grievance and what to do when 15 intelligence brokers from the judiciary violently broke into the workplace and arrested us,” the civil rights activist, Mehdi Mahmoudian, mentioned in a cellphone 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 attorneys.
Mr. Mahmoudian was amongst a bunch of 9 Iranian attorneys and civil rights activists who had gathered in a Tehran workplace one afternoon in August to debate a draft of a lawsuit they deliberate to file in opposition to the nation’s prime officers. He mentioned they’d been planning to sue Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the federal government on costs of mismanaging the pandemic and hampering the vaccine rollout with a politically motivated ban by Mr. Khamenei on importing vaccines made in america and Britain.
Mr. Mahmoudian, Mr. Nili and Mr. Kaykhosravi are charged with spreading propaganda in opposition to the state and disruption of public order in a trial that started in late October in Tehran’s Revolutionary Courtroom — a particular courtroom for political circumstances and political prisoners. They’re additionally charged with forming and belonging to an enemy group — a reference to a human rights group they established referred to as “Residents Rights Safety Affiliation.” If convicted, they might every withstand 10 years in jail.
A press release final week by a bunch of worldwide rights organizations, together with Human Rights Watch and PEN America, referred to as for his or her quick launch and requested the United Nations to lift their case with Iran’s authorities.
Iran’s U.N. mission didn’t reply to questions concerning the three prisoners.