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Amirsalar Davudi was arrested in November 2018 and has been detained with "extremely limited access" to his family and lawyer.

Amnesty International has blasted the Iranian authorities for handing down a reported 30-year prison sentence and 111 lashes to a human rights lawyer, calling it an "outrageous injustice."

With this "shockingly harsh" sentence, the London-based human rights watchdog said on June 3, Amirsalar Davudi became "the latest victim of a vicious crackdown" waged by the authorities against human rights lawyers over the past two years.

Davudi was arrested in November 2018 and has been detained in Tehran's Evin prison with "extremely limited access" to his family and lawyer, Amnesty International said in a statement.

On June 1, Davudi's wife tweeted that he had been convicted by the Tehran Revolutionary Court on multiple charges including "insulting officials" and "spreading propaganda against the system," and sentenced to 30 years in prison and 111 lashes.

One of the charges on which the lawyer was convicted related to his channel on the Telegram messaging app through which he publicized human rights violations and gave media interviews.

In accordance with Iran's sentencing guidelines, the actual term he has to serve is 15 years, according to Amnesty International.

"With this sentence, Iran's authorities have demonstrated that human rights lawyers in Iran today are effectively treated as enemies of the state," said Philip Luther, the group's research and advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Luther added that Iranian courts had handed out "increasingly harsh sentences" to punish human rights lawyers for their work.

The news of Davudi's case followed the sentencing of prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, the co-winner of the European Parliament's 2012 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes, prompting international condemnation.

Manasbek Arabaev

BISHKEK -- A former member of the office of the Kyrgyz president has been arrested on corruption charges.

Kyrgyzstan's State Committee for National Security (UKMK) said on June 3 that Manasbek Arabaev, the ex-chief of the presidential office's department for judicial system reform, was arrested a day earlier and placed in a pretrial detention center.

The UKMK spokesman Rakhat Sulaimanov did not say what Arabaev is accused of.

Arabaev worked in former President Almazbek Atambaev's office for many years and became department chief in 2015.

He was sacked in May last year, six months after new President Sooronbai Jeenbekov was sworn in.

Several associates of Atambaev's have been arrested on corruption charges after he left office in December 2017.

On May 27, Kyrgyz legislation under which former heads of state can be prosecuted came into force amid calls by some politicians for an investigation into decisions made by Atambaev when he was in office.

Limited to a single six-year term by the constitution, Atambaev tapped Jeenbekov, his former prime minister, as his favored successor in the October 2017 presidential election.

But the two have had a public falling out and have criticized each other for more than a year.

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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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