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More lawyers detained arbitrarily in Iran
Protestors at a demonstration at the Iranian embassy in Brussels, Belgium, in September, following the death of Mahsa Amini Pic: Shutterstock

22 Nov 2022 / global Print

More lawyers are detained arbitrarily in Iran

There has been an increase in lawyers arrested in Iran and one human rights defender on hunger-strike is in a critical condition, according to a statement from the Law Society of England and Wales.

“Iranian authorities must comply with international legal obligations to respect fundamental human rights,” the body said this morning, as further information emerged on an increase in lawyers being arrested and detained arbitrarily in Iran.

Law Society Vice President Nick Emmerson said: “We are extremely concerned about the welfare of these lawyers, many of whom we understand have been ill-treated in detention.


“We are also extremely worried about a human rights defender on hunger-strike, who is said to be in a critical condition. It is reported that they have been refused visits from their lawyer and family members, including during their time in hospital.

“Twenty-three lawyers have reportedly been arrested in the last month alone, some of them together with their clients. We understand they are being held in inhumane conditions at detention centres and prisons, some at undisclosed locations." 

Restriction of rights

“The arrest and detention of these lawyers who work to uphold the rule of law is particularly concerning because it signals a further restriction of the right to legal representation for thousands of people arrested across the country," the statement continues.

“Among those detained are we believe up to a thousand minors, as well as protestors charged with ‘security offences’ who are facing the death penalty.

“Reports indicate that most are not allowed access to a lawyer, and some are under duress to choose from a list of state-approved counsel.

“And increased attack on lawyers prevents the functioning of the administration of justice and the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

“The Law Society calls on the Iranian authorities to:

  • Immediately and unconditionally release all lawyers and human rights defenders who have been arbitrarily arrested and detained and drop all charges against them,
  • Pending their release, to guarantee the psychological and physical integrity of the lawyers and human rights defenders, and comply with international standards on conditions of detention,
  • Ensure access to legal representation of their own choice for all those arrested and detained, including minors and those facing a death sentence,
  • Ensure respect for fair trial guarantees in any proceedings brought against lawyers, human rights defenders and others, and
  • Guarantee that all lawyers and human rights defenders in Iran can carry out their professional duties without intimidation, hindrance or improper interference.”
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