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The trial has begun in Iran of the lawyer of Mahsa Amini, the young Iranian Kurd whose death last September sparked a widespread protest movement, a media report said on Wednesday.

The daily Etemad reported that Saleh Nikbakht has been accused of “propaganda against the system”.

The first hearing “took place on Tuesday and he was informed about the allegation of propaganda activity against the regime, in particular for speaking to foreign and local media in relation to the Mahsa Amini case”.

Nikbakht’s trial began nearly a year after the custodial death of 22-year-old Amini last September 16, when she was arrested for violating the Islamic republic’s strict dress rules for women.

If found guilty, he could be sentenced to one to three years in prison.

Read also: Iran steps up crackdown ahead of Amini anniversary: ​​Activists

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

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

Dozens of police officers were among the hundreds killed during the Amini protests, which Tehran has called “riots” instigated by foreign governments.

The authorities made thousands of arrests among the protesters and their supporters.

Nikbakht, who hails from western Kurdistan province, has represented many Iranian celebrities during his long career, including acclaimed film director Jafar Panahi.

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