Mohammed Mostafaei 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Hamidi is facing execution in Iran on charges of homosexuality, even
though he has no lawyer and is not gay, the Guardian reported Monday. Hamidi was sentenced to
death for sodomy based on "judge's knowledge," whereby a judge can use
his discretion to decide on a case in which no conclusive evidence
The lawyer said he considered turning himself in to help his wife, but ultimately decided
against it because "my wife would never forgive me."
Hamidi allegedly confessed to the crime under torture.
Last month, the purported victim of the crime admitted he had been
coerced into making false accusations by his parents. Three alleged
accomplices of Hamidi were aquitted after they agreed to testify against
Hamidi in court, the Guardian said.
Iranian woman faces death by stoning
Iran on UN women's rights committee
lawyer Mohammed Mostafaei, credited with saving 50
people from execution over the course of his career, was forced to flee
the country after he sparked international controversy over another
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who was sentenced to death by stoning for
adultery, according to the Guardian.
can be punished by lashing, hanging, or stoning in Iran, depending on
the seriousness of the offense. A rape victim can be lashed as well if
he "enjoyed" the experience.
Attorney Mohammed Mostafaei fled to
Turkey, where he was arrested briefly before being freed by EU
officials, the Guardian said.
He plans to continue his work from exile to Norway, where he has
obtained a visa. Mostafaei's wife was recently arrested after Mostafaei
refused to report to Evin prison for questioning, but was later
released, according to the Guardian.
Mostafaei said a friend drove him last week from Tehran to Khoy, in
northwestern Iran, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) from the Turkish
border. From there he made his way, by foot and on horseback, into
Turkey, he said.
"My greatest hope is that I can go back and continue my work in Iran. If
the Iranian authorities will ensure my rights and safety, I'll go
back," Mostafaei said through an interpreter. "Right now, I've lost the
ability to work on the behalf of my clients. That means I've lost
everything. Without that, it doesn't matter whether I'm in heaven or