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Iran: Kurdish lawyer Khosrow Alikordi sentenced by the Islamic Republic of Iran

19 December 2023


The First Section of the Revolutionary Court has sentenced Khosrow Alikordi to one year’s imprisonment, two years’ exile, a two-year travel ban, a two-year ban on practising as a lawyer, and a two-year ban on appearing on the Internet.

Khosrow Alikordi is the lawyer for the family of Abolfazl Adiehzadeh, who was killed by the security forces at the age of 16 during national protests in October 2022. Since his death, his family has been under constant pressure from the Iranian government. In June 2023, his father and sister were charged with “anti-government propaganda” for denouncing the teenager’s death. Mr Alikordi was subsequently arrested in August 2023, before being released on bail 4 days later.

Alikordi has defended a number of political prisoners and their relatives, which has exposed him to a great deal of pressure from the Iranian government authorities. In addition, the third section of the Mashhad criminal court fined him 21 million Iranian rials (€45 360) for “defamation”.

Khosrow Alikordi is one of a number of lawyers, doctors and activists who have signed a joint letter calling on the Islamic Republic of Iran to release a doctor who has been imprisoned for treating demonstrators.


The Observatory strongly condemns the pressure exerted by the Islamic Republic of Iran on Mr Alikordi and his clients.

The Observatory strongly condemns the repeated condemnations of defenders of the rights of political prisoners in Iran.

The Observatory urges the Iranian authorities to put an end to the harassment of Mr Alikordi.

The Observatory recalls that, in accordance with the basic principles of the United Nations relating to the role of the Bar, in particular principles 16, 18, 23 and 27 :

Principle 16: “Governments shall ensure that lawyers (a) are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference;”

Principle 18: Lawyers shall not be identified with their clients or their clients’ causes as a result of discharging their functions.”

Principle 23: Lawyers like other citizens are entitled to freedom of expression, belief, association and assembly. In particular, they shall have the right to take part in public discussion of matters concerning the law, the administration of justice and the promotion and protection of human rights and to join or form local, national or international organizations and attend their meetings, without suffering professional restrictions by reason of their lawful action or their membership in a lawful organization.”

Principle 27: Charges or complaints made against lawyers in their professional capacity shall be processed expeditiously and fairly under appropriate procedures. Lawyers shall have the right to a fair hearing, including the right to be assisted by a lawyer of their choice.”