The tragic saga surrounding Iran's detainment of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani forges on, as the Christian faith leader continues to face a death sentence following apostasy charges that were waged in 2009. Despite international calls to release Nadarkhani, new reports indicate that the Iranian regime may be doubling down on its stance with a startling prison sentence for the pastor's attorney, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah.
Dadkhah, who has represented Nadarkhani and who is known as a prominent human rights advocate, has allegedly been sentenced to nine years in prison for "acting against national security." This purported sentencing, teamed with the original death charge that was given to his client, continues to show the ongoing human rights struggles Iranian citizens face.
As The Blaze has reported for months, Nadarkhani's charges were waged over his conversion from Islam to Christianity. Dadkhah's sentencing, it seems, has resulted from his defense of the pastor and others who were detained following Iran's disputed 2009 elections. In addition to his alleged prison sentence, the lawyer has reportedly been banned from teaching in Iranian universities and from practicing law for the next 10 years.
"I have been convicted of acting against the national security, spreading propaganda against the regime and keeping banned books at home," Dadkhah said in an interview with The Guardian. "I was in a court in Tehran defending one of my clients, Davoud Arjangi, a jailed political activist on death row when the judge told me that my own sentence has been approved and I will be shortly summoned to jail to serve the nine-year sentence."
Jordan Sekulow, the executive director of The American Center for Law and Justice, is worried over these revelations and how they will impact the continued fight to free Nadarkhani.
"The news that this renowned human rights attorney has been sentenced to prison by Iranian officials is very troubling," Sekulow said. "With his attorney facing nine years in prison, and no other lawyer likely to take the case, Pastor Youcef has no legal advocate, which places him at greater risk."
Read more about Dadkhah's alleged prison sentence here.
(H/T: Fox News)