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Iran Puts Mahsa Amini's Lawyer on Trial, Media Says

FILE - Iranian lawyer Saleh Nikbakht is seen during a press conference in Tehran, March 9, 2005.

The trial has begun in Iran of the lawyer for Mahsa Amini, the young Iranian Kurdish woman whose death last September triggered a widespread protest movement, a media report said Wednesday.

Saleh Nikbakht is charged with "propaganda against the system," the daily Etemad reported.

The first hearing "was on Tuesday and he was notified of the charge of propaganda activity against the regime for having spoken to foreign and local media, concerning the Mahsa Amini affair in particular," it said.

Nikbakht's trial begins nearly a year after the death in custody last September 16 of 22-year-old Amini, after she was arrested for allegedly violating the Islamic republic's strict dress rules for women.

If convicted, he faces a prison term of between one and three years.

Etemad reported that Nikbakht's lawyer urged his acquittal, saying that in interviews he "only criticized the running of the country by the authorities."

At the end of September 2022, Nikbakht indicated that the Amini family had filed a complaint against the police officers who had arrested her.

Dozens of police officers were among the hundreds of people killed during the Amini protests, which Tehran labeled riots fomented by foreign governments.

Authorities made thousands of arrests among protesters and their supporters.

Nikbakht, who comes from the western Kurdistan province, has represented several Iranian personalities during his lengthy career, including acclaimed film director Jafar Panahi.

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