Saturday, August 7, 2010

Iranian Lawyer, Seeking Asylum, Surfaces in Turkey

Wall Street Journal
August 6, 2010

A prominent Iranian human-rights lawyer, Mohamad Mostafaei, has fled to Turkey and applied for asylum after Iranian authorities issued a warrant last week for his arrest and detained his wife and brother-in-law.

Mr. Mostafaei, reached by phone at a Turkish detention center on Thursday, says he hasn't been formally charged in Iran, and left because of what he describes as a "flawed judiciary that does not abide by any laws."

Mr. Mostafaei said he has filed an official request with the United Nations refugee agency and has had offers from several countries, including Canada and Norway, for resettlement. Turkey only accepts refugees from European countries.

"I love my country. I loved helping people and I didn't escape because I'm afraid of going to jail. I did it because I have no more belief or respect for Iran's judiciary," Mr. Mostafaei said.