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Iran Lawyer Arrested On Way To Friday Prayers

Shadi Sadr (file photo)

Shadi Sadr (file photo)

The "Meydan Zanan" (Women's Field) website reports the latest detention of an activist lawyer by Iranian authorities.

Shadi Sadr was apparently intercepted by plainclothes agents at around 11:30 a.m., while she was on her way to Friday Prayers in Tehran, where ex-President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was to deliver an eagerly awaited sermon.

The friends accompanying Sadr protested as the men forced Sadr into a car.

Meydan Zanan provides this account of the harrowing abduction and Sadr's efforts to flee the men, who didn't identify themselves in any way:

Shadi was shaken up and taken by surprise. Suddenly she was then taken away and kept in a Peugeot car. Me and a friend started to yell, "Where are you taking her?!!" That's also when Shadi tried to struggle and started to cry for help, pounding the car door. My friend then tried to open the door, and we were pulling Shadi out but an official who was inside the car was grabbing onto her. He was pulling onto her in such a way that her manteau (overcoat) was coming off but one of my friends still held onto Shadi's hand and her blouse and pants that were once intact started to come off when caught in the car. At that time she escaped. The officials in civilian clothing and also me and my friend were running after her. It was then one of the officials from the opposite side attacked her and was pulling onto her scarf. Shadi was resisting his force when the scarf came undone. Shadi again escaped. This time two other people appeared unexpectedly, one of them carrying a spiral baton. They took Shadi and beat her violently while she continued to resist them. We weren't allowed to go towards her. By force they had taken her and put her in the car. The official manhandled Shadi and it was apparent that for them, her hijab wasn't even important!!

Sadr is a well-known feminist and founder of one of the arms of public-interest NGO Rahi. She's also an active opponent of legalized execution by stoning and proponent of education rights.

She was arrested in March 2007 after she and other activists gathered in front of a revolutionary court in the capital in response to the arrest of dozens of members of a women's liberation movement.

-- Mazyar Mokfi