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Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh in her office in Tehran Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh in her office in Tehran, Iran, Nov. 1, 2008 (AP photo by Arash Ashourinia).

For Iran’s Lawyers, Defending Dissidents Is Getting Dangerous

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

In 1985, my parents were taken to court in Tehran by a tenant who was trying to stop them from selling a property he was renting from them at the time. My parents were surprised to learn about the lawsuit. After all, they had given the tenant several months to vacate. He had no legitimate legal argument.

On the day of the hearing, when it was the tenant’s turn to present his case, he pointed at my parents and shrilly declared that they were communists. For a moment, the room fell silent. Then my parents’ lawyer calmly closed his legal files and, without making eye contact with anyone, walked out of the courtroom. ...

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