Overview of lawyers’ status in Iran

UniversalTolerance Organization - At this moment of history in Iran, being different is considered an unforgivable crime. Differences in beliefs, religion, appearance, behavior, love, eating habits, even different tastes of music and art results in different grave punishments. There are many Iranian men and women, who silently experience prison, torture, and interrogations and never have the right to either be defended by a lawyer, or have a fair trial. Most of them forgo of their rights under threat and pressure.

Human rights documents and the laws of many countries around the world have considered the right to have a lawyer one of the basic rights in order to have access to fair trial in to guarantee social and legal justice in society. The problem rises where judicial stakeholders, who should promote justice, proudly eliminate basic grounds for fair trials and uphold decisions of heavy punishments without having lawyers and jury in trials, and subsequently threaten and arrest lawyers to enforce their arbitrary unfair decisions. Such obscure ideology has led to arrest of many lawyers in Iran.

Government authorities arrested and detained responsible lawyers for ambiguous reasons; “act against national security, confusion of public opinion” to prevent people from having fair trials and continue imposing heavy punishments on people to create fear and oppress different voices from theirs.

Javid Hootan kiyan is a lawyer who defended Mrs.Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiyani in June.2009. Sakineh was sentenced to stoning by court and he defended his client and spoke with different news agencies about his client’s unfair punishment. He and Sajad Ghaderzade, son of Sakineh, were arrested following his visit with two German journalists in Tabriz.
Hootan Kiyan was taken to an unknown place after his arrest until Iran’s national television broadcasted a confession from him about Sakineh’s case. There has been no news about him or his situation for three years since his arrest where as Sakineh’s son, Sajad and the two German journalists were acquitted and released from jail upon cash penalty. However, there have been some scandals that Hootan Kiyan has been killed in Tabriz’s prison. This is to say that judicial system of Iran should provide precise report on his state of well beings.

Mostafa Daneshjoo, Amir Islami, Omid Behroozi, and Farshid Yadollahi, who are minority groups lawyers defending Daravish from Gonabad have been held in Evin prison for more than seventeen months without any trials.

Mostafa Daneshjoo who suffers from respiratory disease, after being detained in prison in Sari for six months was transferred to ward 209 of Evin prison without any trial.

Amir Islami, another lawyer who has been in prison more than eighteen months, and his file is still open in revolutionary court number 15.

Omid Behroozi, along with other lawyers of Daravish in Gonabad, are still detained in Evin prison. They have been transferred to individual cells due to their resistance of attending court hearings. Farshid Yadollahi has also been in prison for more than seventeen months.

Seyed Mohammad Seyfzadeh, one of the most prominent lawyers in Iran is also in jail of Rajai Shahr. He was one of the founders of human rights commission who worked with Shirin Ebadi, Mohammad Sharif, Abdul Fatah Soltani and Mohammad Ali Dadkhah. He defended many political prisoners in Iran.

Abdul Fatah Soltani, was convicted of propagation against Islamic regime and sentenced to eighteen years of prison term, exile to Barazjan and banned from working as a lawyer for twenty years. He was defending human rights in Iran for which he received human rights prize of Nuremberg that was known a crime of obtaining unlawful property by the government of Iran.

Mohammad Ali Dakkhah is also one of the members of human rights commission who has been in jail since 2002, when he defended the members of freedom movement party. 
His office was closed by the government in 8th of July.2009 when he with his colleagues, Malihe Dadkhah, Sara Sabaghiyan, Bahareh Davaloo, Amir Raisian were arrested by security police. Mr. Dadkhah defended cases of religious nationalist activists, Abdul Fatah Soltani, lawyers of Daravish from Gonabad, students of Amir Kabir University, Sorna Hashemi, Alireza Firoozi during student protest in Zanjan University and priest Yousef Naderkhani who was punished to death penalty. Mr. Dadkhah who was sentenced to 9 years of prison, 10 years of banning from working as a lawyer, lashes and fines in July 2011, is transferred to ward 350 of Evin prison 2 days ago.

Nasirn Sotudeh who has been in prison since September 2010, defended human rights cases, and those who were killed and hanged during post-election of June 2009. She is also a member of human right commission, one million signatures campaign for changing discriminatory laws against women, and children’s rights association. She has defended rights of children from the cases of abuse to execution. She won the prize of international human rights organization in 2008.

All of these lawyers have been defending human rights of people, minority groups, journalists, and political prisoners. From the government of Iran’s point of view defending ethnic minority groups, journalists, and political prisoners’ rights is a crime itself that should be stopped brutally. They have no rights to be heard or defended.

Here again, Universal Tolerance Organization by reminding declaration of universal tolerance principles, the international conventions and treaties on human rights and national laws of Iran in terms of respecting the rights of citizens, recognition and protection of right to freedom of expression, and freedom of thought, asks the government of Iran to free all the lawyers from prison and provide the right to have access to lawyer for every accused or convicted person.

Unfortunately, we see that many lawyers have been put in jail. More importantly, political and human rights activists along with sixteen journalists who have been arrested recently are detained without having access to lawyers. U.T.O emphasizes that the only legal support for the accused are their lawyers who should be able to defend their clients freely with no pressure.

More Information

No comments: