Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani's attorney to be jailed

Monday, May 7, 2012

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

iran-christianTEHRAN, IRAN (Worthy News)-- Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani's Iranian attorney has been convicted of defending the rights of religious prisoners in the Islamic state and may soon begin serving a lengthy sentence.

Mohammad Ali Dadkhah was sentenced to nine years in prison and banned from practicing law for another 10.

Dadkhah has defended many other religious prisoners, including 12 Christians who were tried last Easter Sunday in the same Iranian provincial court that sentenced Nadarkhani to death, but because Dadkhah provides legal services pro bono, the Iranian regime perceives him as "aiding and abetting" the so-called crimes of his clients.

"I was in a court in Tehran defending one of my clients, Davoud Arjangi, a jailed political activist on death row when the judge told me that my own sentence has been approved and I will be shortly summoned to jail to serve the nine-year sentence," said Dadkhah. "I have been convicted of acting against the national security, spreading propaganda against the regime and keeping banned books at home."

The judge who informed Dadkhah of his sentence was none other than Abolghasem Salavat, also known as the "Judge of Death" for his harsh sentencing of those convicted of political and religious offenses.

Dadkhah's imprisonment will leave Pastor Nadarkhani without any legal representation as no other attorney would be willing to take the persecuted pastor's case for fear of also being imprisoned, or disbarred: that leaves Nadarkhani in danger of execution without anyone to further his appeals.