IRAN: Arbitrary arrests of lawyers and death sentences

IRAN: Arbitrary arrests of lawyers and death sentences

Blondinrikard Fröberg / Flick / 2014

The International Organization of Lawyers in Danger (OIAD) expresses its dismay and horror regarding the situation in Iran, particularly with regard to the dozens of lawyers arbitrarily detained and the serious violations of the rights of the defense in the context of the massive use of the death penalty.

Since the beginning of the brutal and relentless repression of peaceful citizen demonstrations in September 2022 by the Iranian authorities, 525 protesters, including 71 minors, have been killed.

To date, 19,546 people have been counted as “disappeared” while only 5019 detainees have been identified and counted in prison.

The legal profession has not been spared by the repression. The demonstration organized by the Tehran Bar Association on 12 October 2022 was violently repressed.

Since September 2022, 45 lawyers have been arrested. Of these, 18[1] are still in detention and 27[2] have been released on bail and are facing prosecution.

The Iranian regime has already sentenced some 20 protesters to death after summary trials without any procedural safeguards and based on confessions that are believed to have been obtained under torture.

Mohsen Shekari, Majid Reza Rahnavard, Mohammad Mehdi Karami, Sayed Mohammad Hosseini were executed between 8 December 2022 and 7 January 2023.

The OIAD recalls that Iranian lawyers have been subjected to systematic pressure and harassment in various ways for many years and are often equated with their clients or their clients’ cause as a result of performing their duties.

The OIAD condemns in the strongest terms the intolerable repression of the Iranian people and lawyers.

The OIAD denounces the intolerable violations of the rights of detained persons, including lawyers, and has joined the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers in requesting her intervention on behalf of Iranian lawyers who are victims of abuses perpetrated in consideration of their professional activity or deprived of the practice of law.

The OIAD demands that protesters who are the subject of proceedings, whether detained or not, be given a real, independent and immediate defense by a lawyer.

The OIAD calls for the immediate release and dismissal of all lawyers arrested and prosecuted for any action taken in the course of their work.

The OIAD reiterates its opposition to the death penalty in all circumstances and denounces the conditions under which arrested protesters are tried, sentenced and executed, in violation of fundamental procedural safeguards.

The OIAD welcomes the European Parliament Resolution of January 19, 2023 on the European Union’s reaction to the demonstrations and executions in Iran and calls on European states and the European Union to take all possible diplomatic action to stop this situation.



[1] Mohammad Reza Faghihi, Amir Adel Ahmadian, Ahmadali Barani, Mohammad Rezaei, Firoozeh (Zahra) Khordehchi, Mostafa Nili, Saeid Ataie Kachuie, Arash Keykhosravi, Zahra Nazari Gomishani, Oveis Hamed Tavakkoli, Ghahreman Karimi, Saeideh Mirghorbani, Farzaneh Akbarian, Reza Hamzehie, Maryam Arvin, Hadi Razavi,Amir Dehghani, Elham Zera’at

[2] Milad Panahipour, Saeid Jalalian, Babak Paknia, Rosa Etemad Ansari, Mohammad Reza Faghihi, Saeid Sheikh, Mohammad Rezaei, Sina Yousefi, Qassem Bodi Bonab, Amir Mehdipour, Ruhollah Mohammad Rezaei, Nazanin Salari, Mahmoud Taravat, Bahar Sahraeian, Astarh (Maryam) Ansari, Ghodsieh Ghodsbin, Negin Kiani, Alireza Zare, Mohammad Hadi Jafarpour, Mehdi Sefri, Amir Afshar Najafi, Hossein Jalilian, Mina Bozorgi, Mohammadali Kamfirouzi, Maryam Sadrnia, Hassan Asadi Zeidabadi, Hassan Younessi