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Abbas Edalat

A British-Iranian dual citizen has been detained by Iranian authorities since mid-April, a human rights group and friends of the man's family say.

The New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on April 25 identified the man as Abbas Edalat, a professor of computer science and mathematics at Imperial College in London.

"Iran's continued arbitrary arrests of dual nationals without transparency and lack of due process is extremely concerning," said Hadi Ghaemi, CHRI's executive director.

Edalat traveled to Iran from his home in London at an unknown date to attend an academic workshop, according to family friends and the rights group.

He was arrested at his family's home in Tehran on April 15 by Iran's hard-line Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and taken to the notorious Evin prison. Security forces seized a computer, phone, textbooks, and other items.

Friends say the charges are unknown and the man has not had access to a lawyer.

The CHRI said Edalat refused to post bail on April 25, arguing that he was innocent and should be released immediately.

The British Foreign Office said in a statement that it was "urgently seeking information from the Iranian authorities following reports of the arrest of a British-Iranian dual national."

In early 2017, Edalat said in an interview that he had stopped submitting research papers to U.S. conferences after President Donald Trump issued a travel ban on mostly Muslim-majority countries, including Iran.

The CHRI described him as the founder of the U.S.-based Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran, a group that opposes foreign intervention in Iran.

Iran's IRGC has arrested at least 30 dual nationals since 2015, mostly on spying charges, according to Reuters.

At least two other British-Iranian citizens are known to be held in Iran.

One unidentified British-Iranian man was sentenced in March to six years in prison on spying charges.

With reporting by The Wall Street Journal and Reuters
Mark Feigin has gained prominence for representing clients such as punk protest band Pussy Riot, Crimean Tatar activists openly opposed to Moscow's annexation of Crimea, and Nadia Savchenko in politically sensitive cases.

Prominent Russian lawyer Mark Feigin says he will appeal in court his disbarment for allegedly unethical behavior.

Feigin wrote on Facebook on April 25 that the decision by the Moscow Chamber of Attorneys a day earlier "cannot be accepted as lawful, grounded, or fair."

"Perhaps for the first time in the history of Russian advocacy, they're stripping someone of his profession for expressing his opinion on social networks," Feigin wrote.

According to Feigin, the chamber also ignored a provision in the code of lawyers' ethics stating that a lawyer cannot be sanctioned for a misdeed allegedly committed six months earlier.

"It is yet further evidence that the provisions regulating lawyers' behavior on the Internet are a tool for getting rid of undesirables: They are implemented selectively and are very well suited to the settling of personal scores and political persecution," Feigin said.

He also called on all lawyers in Russia to support him in his legal fight against the disbarment.

The Moscow Chamber of Attorneys' decision comes after lawyer Stalina Gurevich demanded that Feigin be deprived of his status for violating the norms of the lawyers' code of ethics by using obscene vocabulary on social media against his colleagues and their clients.

Feigin has gained prominence for representing the interests of the punk protest band Pussy Riot, Crimean Tatar activists who openly opposed Moscow's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, and Nadia Savchenko, the Ukrainian airwoman who spent nearly two years in Russian captivity, in politically sensitive cases.

He is also defending Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko, who is on trial in Moscow on espionage charges.

With reporting by the BBC Russian, TASS, and Interfax

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


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