Monday, November 22, 2010

Nokia Siemens lawsuit dropped by Iranian plaintiffs

Last Wednesday, the attorney for two Iranians who had sued Nokia Siemens Networks in an American federal court withdrew their lawsuit.

In the case, the plantiffs Isa Saharkhiz and Mehdi Saharkhiz had alleged that the sale of Nokia Siemens Networks mobile phone surveillance technology led to the arrest and torture of Isa Saharkhiz in Iran over a year ago.

"This was purely a legal and strategic decision," attorney Ali Herischi told Deutsche Welle. Herischi is representing the plaintiffs and hopes to bring the case again later.

"The only reason we dropped the case at the moment was to keep it alive and viable," Herischi added.

Mehdi Saharkhiz has said previously that his father, a well-known Iranian journalist, remains in custody. The son, Mehdi, now lives in New Jersey in the United States, where he is well-known for being an online Iranian human rights activist.

In late June 2009, in an election widely viewed as fraudulent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected as president of Iran. As protests raged in the election's aftermath, the Iranian government cracked down on communications technologies, shutting down mobile phone access and limiting Internet access.

In the weeks that followed, it was revealed that Nokia Siemens Networks had sold mobile phone surveillance equipment to Iran. Many Iranian dissidents blamed the company for aiding a regime that they said was oppressive.  More...