Iran detains an outspoken lawyer who criticized 2022 crackdown following Mahsa Amini’s death

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An outspoken Iranian lawyer who has publicly criticized how the government handled the 2022 protests over the death of Mahsa Amini has been arrested, state media reported Sunday.

The unrest followed the death of the 22-year-old detained by the police for allegedly not properly wearing her mandatory hijab. The massive protests quickly escalated into calls to overthrow Iran’s four-decade Islamic theocracy.

The judiciary’s Mizan news agency said Sunday that Mohsen Borhani had been previously sentenced but did not give further details on his case or jail time.

Borhani, also a university professor, became popular on social media for his critical views of the Iranian government during the 2022 demonstrations that shook the Islamic Republic and sparked a security crackdown that killed more than 500 people and saw over 22,000 detained. U.N. investigators said Iran was responsible for the physical violence that led to Amini’s death.

The lawyer’s arrest came a day after reformist President Masoud Pezeshkian was elected to lead the country.

Pezeshkian promised to ease enforcement of the country’s mandatory headscarf law and reach out to the West after years of sanctions and protests squeezing the Islamic Republic.

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