Iranian authorities arrested three women Iranian human rights lawyers on Saturday for so-called security related offenses. Maryam Kianersi, Maryam Karbasi, and Sara Sabaghian were taken into custody as they returned to the nation from Turkey. Sara Sabaghian is known to have represented Hossein Ronaghi in court after his arrest for blog posts which criticized the Iranian government. Ronaghi is currently appealing a 15-year jail sentence for his alleged crime. All three women had previously signed an open letter advocating for the release of Nasrin Sotoudeh, a well-known human rights lawyer imprisoned in Evin Prison.
Sotoudeh is scheduled to go on trial on November 15 and faces charges of acting against state security, assembling, and collusion with intent to disrupt national security, and working with the Center for Human Rights Defenders, which was founded by Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi. Nasrin Sotoudeh who has been in Evin Prison since September 4, went on a hunger strike for 27 days to protest the conditions of her illegal arrest. After ending her hunger strike for a few days, she started a dry hunger strike since her case was mishandled and she continued to be deprived of her legal rights such as the right to telephone calls and visits from her family members and her two young children. As of November 12, Sotoudeh began drinking water on advice of her friends and lawyers, but remains on a hunger strike.
Media Resources: Associated Press 11/14/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 11/12/10