IRAN: Lawyer Soheila Hejab violently arrested as she exits court
The International Observatory for Lawyers in Danger (hereafter “OIAD”) expresses its deepest outrage after the arrest of our fellow Iranian human rights activist Soheila Hejab.
She was summoned by the Tehran Provincial Court of Appeal on 23 May, which upheld her 18-year prison sentence. She was charged with “propaganda against the state,” “gathering and collusion,” and “disrupting public order to create chaos”. After the hearing she was arrested by the Revolutionary Guards. Soheila Hejab was violently arrested by the Revolutionary Guards when she left the court and forcibly taken to Qarchak prison. According to her account, she was beaten several times and dragged by her hair.
The OIAD is very concerned about this situation and is convinced that the conviction of Soheila Hejab is linked to her professional and legitimate activities.
Soheila Hejab was first arrested on 6 June 2019 by the Revolutionary Guards.
Committed against the bloody repression of the November 2019 demonstrations, Soheila Hejab had signed a joint declaration with 11 other political prisoners calling on their compatriots to boycott the parliamentary elections.
The OIAD expressly calls on the Iranian authorities to respect their international commitments.
The OIAD would like to remind that under the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers (1990):
“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” (Principle No. 23).
“Lawyers shall not be identified with their clients or their clients’ causes as a result of discharging their functions” (Principle No. 18).
The OIAD calls for the immediate release of Soheila Hejab, the abandonment of the proceedings against her and will remain particularly vigilant.