Lawyer Flees Iran After Client's Stoning Sentence Attorney Mohammed Mostafaei arrived safely in Norway, and Iranian opposition figures are reporting that his wife has been released from custody in Iran. Despite his troubles, the lawyer told NPR that he still hopes someday to resume his human rights work in Iran.
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Lawyer Flees Iran After Client's Stoning Sentence

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Lawyer Flees Iran After Client's Stoning Sentence

Lawyer Flees Iran After Client's Stoning Sentence

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LIANE HANSEN, Host:

NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul.

(SOUNDBITE OF CONVERSATION)

PETER KENYON: Mostafaei said he fled fearing imprisonment or worse.

MOHAMMED MOSTAFAEI: (Through Translator) I never intended to be a refugee. I have a visa to visit E.U. countries but because I entered Turkey illegally the Turkish government insisted that I apply for asylum. The Norwegian ambassador welcomed me, so I'll go there.

KENYON: Mostafaei is also worried about his most famous client. Ashtiani still faces execution by hanging after being charged with murder as well as adultery.

MOSTAFAEI: (Through Translator) I think my leaving Iran and all the international news coverage of her case will help her. I think it would be difficult for Iran to execute her right now. But whatever happens, I believe the publicity surrounding her case will help other women in the future.

KENYON: Attorney Mostafaei says he's not sure how long he will stay in Norway, and while he's grateful to everyone who helped him escape, he's not happy. Despite the embarrassment he caused the Iranian government, he still hopes someday to return to his country and resume his work.

MOSTAFAEI: (Through Translator) There are many people in prison in Iran who need defending. Unfortunately, there are some in the judiciary who misuse their power and give sentences that don't conform to the law. These people need help, and this is my dream, to be in Iran helping them. I hope someday I can return to it.

KENYON: Peter Kenyon, NPR News, Istanbul.

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