Mohammad Ali Dadkhah represented activists imprisoned after massive street protests surrounding the disputed March 2009 presidential election in which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won a second four-year term. UPI | License Photo
LONDON, May 10 (UPI) -- A nine-year prison sentence for an Iranian human rights lawyer is a sign the government is consistently repressing its people, a British official said.
Iranian lawyer Mohammad Ali Dadkhah was sentenced to nine years in prison this week by Iranian authorities. He was convicted of spreading propaganda against the government.
British Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt said he was troubled by the sentencing of Dadkhah and the death penalty handed down in 2010 to Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani.
"These cases are an all too frequent reminder that Iran continues to repress its own citizens' rights to freedom of expression and religion," he said in a statement.
Dadkhah had defended political and human rights activists condemned to death for their role in the 2009 uprising following the re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Iran recently held parliamentary elections where opponents of the Iranian president were victorious. Members of the opposition Green Movement weren't among the competitors because its leaders are under house arrest.
Dadkhah is the co-founder of Iran's Center for Human Rights Defenders.