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RSF Condemns Iranian Lawyer's Arrest

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has denounced the arrest of Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Ten Iranian Intelligence Ministry officials raided Sotoudeh's home and office on August 28 and confiscated files and personal belongings. They also told her to appear at the prosecutor's office at Evin prison on charges of "collusion against national security" and "spreading propaganda against the Islamic Republic regime." She was arrested when she went to the prosecutor's office on September 4.

Sotoudeh had represented a number of political prisoners who were taken into custody during the unrest that followed the disputed June 2009 presidential election.

In a September 7 statement, RSF said that "Sotoudeh has for the past year been the spokesperson of victims of injustice, of those the regime is trying to silence.... By arresting lawyers, the regime is trying to gag the last dissenting voices."

Sotoudeh's husband, Reza Khandan, told Radio Farda on September 5 that he and his wife's lawyer went to Evin prison to inquire about her and were told that the order for her detention is valid indefinitely. Khandan added that he was told that he may neither visit his wife nor talk to her by telephone.

In its statement, RSF asked lawyers' organizations throughout the world to demand Sotoudeh's immediate release.