Iran Restricts Attorney Access for Prisoners
09/25/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Earlier this year, Iran’s judiciary decided to force defendants held on political charges to pick their lawyer from a pre-approved list. Meanwhile, human rights attorneys continue to be arrested. This has recently prompted a group of nearly 100 Iranian attorneys to write a letter to the Judiciary Chief asking why the judiciary is preventing lawyers from representing clients. The letter also stated that “sweeping interpretations of national security” are constitutional violations.
It is common for Christians in Iran to be arrested and charged with vague national security violations. Any lawyer who takes their case does so at great risk to themselves, as evident by Iran’s broader crackdown on human rights attorneys. Christians are not given access to a fair judicial process and are often sentenced to years in prison, where they are subjected to torture and harassment.
The arrest of Christians is in direct violations of Iran’s constitution, which “protects” Christians as a recognized religious minority. Furthermore, Article 9 says that “no authority has the right to abrogate legitimate freedoms.” In Article 37, the constitution affirms that that a person is innocent until proven guilty. By restricting access to attorneys and arresting them, Iran is further deepening its resolve to ignore human rights and constitutional law.
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