May 18, 2021
A revolutionary court in Iran has sentenced an Iranian lawyer to prison for speaking to media outlets about one of his clients.
The Branch 29 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court has sentenced Mohammad Hadi Erfanian Kaseb to three months and five days in prison on charges of “propaganda activities against the regime”. He was notified of the verdict last week.
The lawyer’s interviews with the local media about the murder of his client, Alireza Shirmohammad Ali, and its republishing by Persian-language media abroad has been used in the case to convict him.
The first session of Mr. Erfanian’s trial was held on October 6, 2020, the second session was held on November 28, 2020, and the third and final session of the court was held on April 6, 2021.
On February 4, 2020, 15 agents of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to Mr. Erfanian’s law office and inspected there.
His personal belongings including his smartphone were confiscated upon arrest. The IRGC forces also searched his home on the same day.
Mohammad Hadi Erfanian Kaseb was arrested on Sunday, May 26, 2020, after appearing before the Branch 2 of the Evin Prosecutor’s Office, and was transferred to the IRGC Intelligence Detention Center, Ward 2A of Evin Prison.
He was subsequently arraigned of the charges during an interrogation session in which his lawyers were not allowed to attend.
The lawyer was finally released on bail two days later until the end of the trial.
Mohammad Hadi Erfanian Kaseb, has represented many political prisoners, including Raheleh Rahemipour, Haleh Rostami, Marjan Davari, Alireza Shirmohammadali, a number of detained students, and some Baha’i citizens.
One of his clients, political prisoner Alireza Shirmohammadali was stabbed to death in June 2019, at the Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary (GTCP) after he was unlawfully kept in a ward that holds inmates convicted of dangerous crimes.
Shirmohammadali had been sentenced in February 2019 to eight years in prison for the charges of “insulting the sacred,” “insulting the supreme leader” and “propaganda against the state” and was awaiting the result of his appeal before his death.