International rights group Human Rights Watch detailed several cases of arrests of lawyers in Iran and said others have been threatened and told not to talk to media — especially foreign outlets.
According to the report, Iranian police officers snatched prominent lawyer Shadi Sadr from a Tehran street on Friday as she walked to prayers. A friend who was with her at the time said she was beaten with a cable and thrown in a car that sped away, said the report.
At least four other Iranian human rights defenders — Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, Abdolfattah Soltani, Mohammad Mosatafaie, and Kambiz Noroozi — have been arrested, according to HRW. Mostafaie was later released but the others remain in custody.
The New York-based group released the statement on the clampdown Sunday, a day after global protests backed by HRW and Amnesty International that urged Iran to end the crackdown on opposition activists and release those detained.
Protests have also been held the world over in sympathy with the Iranian pro-opposition supporters, and Saturday saw rallies in 80 cities, including in the United States.
The protesters demanded Iran release hundreds, or even thousands, of people detained during protests denouncing hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's return to power.