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Iranian lawyer fleeing from Iran ends up in Oslo

08-09-2010 11:00 BJT

OSLO, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Iranian lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei, who claimed that Iranian authorities attempted to arrest him, ended up in Oslo over the weekend with help from the Norwegian government.

Mostafaei, seen as a human rights activist in the West for his role in defending an Iranian woman called Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and juvenile delinquents, told reporters in Oslo on Sunday that he arrived in Oslo on Saturday with air tickets provided by the Norwegian Embassy in Turkey.

He said that he was not in his Tehran office when policemen came with an arrest warrant on July 22 and those policemen then took into custody his wife, father-in-law and brother-in-law, who have all been released on bail now.

Gone in hiding in Tehran, capital of Iran, for over a week while thinking if he should turn himself in, the lawyer said, he started his escape on July 29 and eventually crossed the border into Turkey, where he was detained for six days before being set free with Western interventions and putting in diplomatic protection on Friday.

Mostafaei said that he had obtained a travel visa from the Norwegian Embassy two months ago, but denied that he had ever planned to escape from his country before what happened to him and his family.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store, in a press conference on Sunday afternoon, said, "we had first learned of his escape when he was in Turkey." He declined to go into details on the role the Norwegian government has played in the process.

Mostafaei, who could legally stay in Norway for one year, said that he hoped his wife and his 7-year-old daughter could join him soon in Norway.

Ashtiani, who was convicted in 2006 of adultery and punished with 99 lashes, is now reportedly faced with stoning although allegedly there was no evidence on her role in the murder of her husband.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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