Source: Nasrin Sotoudeh
Translation by Iran Press Watch
Last Thursday, coinciding with Defense Lawyers’ Day and the Day of Independence of the Bar1, the community lost one of its most respected colleagues, who had suffered greatly for his efforts to defend the rights of others. Dr. Hadi Esmailzadeh (aged 75) was a defence lawyer as well as a law professor, who had been dismissed from his teaching positions at 4 universities due to the recommendation of the Ministry of Intelligence. He earned his doctorate in law in France, and has left behind multiple volumes of scholarly work in law. Shortly after the revolution in Iran, he was jailed for 7 years for his efforts to defend political prisoners. In recent years, he was awaiting to be called to serve a 4 year prison term. The last case he had as a defence lawyer was that of the Yaran, our Baha’i countrymen.
Undoubtedly he awoke every morn to face injustice, and retired each night carrying the burden of the persecution he had witnessed that day. He has designated Abdulfattah Soltani, who is still incarcerated, to be the executor of his estate. Such is the fate of independent lawyers in Iran these days.
I extend my deepest condolence to his family, the community of lawyers, defenders of human rights, and each and every individual who is mindful of and dedicated to humanitarian values and principles, and who is a protector of human dignity.
The emptiness created by the absence of a man who quietly and diligently did great things and suffered for so doing will not be filled any time soon.
1. See www.iranhrdc.org