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Mustafa Nili

HRD, Lawyer

Mustafa Nili is a human rights defender and lawyer, who has represented many political prisoners, including student unionists. He was arrested in December 2009 as a result of taking part in peaceful protests against the results of the 2009 presidential elections in Iran. In November 2010, Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court convicted the human rights defender to three years on the charge of “gathering and collusion to act against the national security” and an additional six months in prison on the charge of “propaganda against state”, due to him taking part in the protests and publishing critical content against lethal crackdowns on the peaceful protests in 2009. Branch 54 of the Court of Appeals confirmed the prison sentences in April 2011 and consequently the defender served his sentence from 18 July 2011 to 18 November 2014.

Hope for political reform in Iran surfaced when President Hassan Rouhani assumed office in 2013 and dozens of opposition political figures and human rights defenders were released. However, violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly and movement of HRDs continue to be prevalent.

Human rights defenders and journalists are arrested, detained and prosecuted in unfair trials. HRDs continue to receive death threats and are subjected to harassment, arbitrary arrest and detention. They are refused bail or receive extreme bail conditions. HRDs are additionally subjected to systematic surveillance and their family members are targeted. Journalists have been subjected to flogging for criticising the government.