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“No Legal Basis” for Charging Lawyer with Shaking Hands with Female Client

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Defense lawyer Mohammad Moghimi, who spent four days in detention for shaking hands with his female client, insists there are no legal grounds for the charge against him.

“I hope they will stop pursuing this matter because the charge leveled against me does not have any legal basis. It’s laughable,” Moghimi told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

The lawyer was arrested on June 13 after meeting his client, cartoonist Atena Faraghdani, at Evin Prison and charged with “non-adultery illegitimate relations” for shaking hands with her. He was released on 20 million toman (approximately $60,000) bail.

Moghimi told the Campaign that he was taken to Evin Prison for two interrogation sessions and held in the non-political prisoners’ area in Rajaie Shahr Prison.

“Simply shaking hands is not the same as committing adultery. How can a judge describe the shaking of hands between a lawyer and his client in front of prison officials an illegitimate act?” he asked.

Moghimi has been under pressure for representing Atena Faraghdani, who was sentenced to 12 years and nine months imprisonment for drawing a cartoon depicting members of Parliament as animals and posting it on Facebook.

Moghimi said he was detained during a meeting with Faraghdani in Evin Prison on the day he was preparing documents to appeal the sentence against her.

“Actually my client shook hands with me and then realized what she had done and then apologized to Mr. Hamidi, the prison official who was in his room. Mr. Hamidi didn’t say anything and we were able to talk and I got Atena’s signature [for the appeal]. But as I was leaving the meeting room, Mr. Hamidi suddenly raised his voice and said I should be detained for shaking hands,” Moghimi said.
International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran