Lawyer of Murdered Iran Dissidents\' Families out on Bail
A lawyer for the families of two Iranian dissidents murdered in 1998 was out on a 400-million-rial (60,000 dollars), bail Wednesday, the student news agency ISNA said Thursday, quoted by Iran’s official agency (IRNA).
Nasser Zarafshan was jailed last December for comments implying that the 1998 serial killings of intellectuals and political dissidents were part of a campaign by death squads aimed at silencing the opposition. Before that, the judiciary had warned that any person making "unauthorized" comments on this topic in the media would be prosecuted. His arrest came days before the trial of the secret police hitmen by a military court.
Zarafshan represents the families of two writers, Mohammad Mokhtari and Mohammad Pouyandeh, who were murdered in late 1998 along with another writer, Majid Sharif, and two secular opposition figure Dariush and Parvaneh Forouhar.
Last Tuesday, Intelligence Minister Ali Yunessi said that all 18 defendants on trial for the serial murders are intelligence agents.
Only two of the suspects pleaded not guilty before the Tehran military court, which is holding the trial behind closed doors because of what it has called national security concerns, according to AFP.
The others all confessed to some role in the murders of nationalist leader Dariush Foruhar and his wife as well as Pouyandeh and Mohammad-Ali Mokhtari.
A fifth writer killed around the same time, Majid Sharif, has not figured in the trial according to the official information that has emerged from the court about the hearings.
The families of the victims have been boycotting the trial in protest at the secrecy surrounding the controversial case, said the agency – Albawba.com