Iran Moves to Dismantle Bar Association
05/06/2020 Iran (International Christian Concern) – The Iranian government has released a draft bill which would replace the Iranian Bar Association with a group of government-appointed judiciary officials. This new “Supreme Council for the Coordination of Lawyers’ Affairs” has been protested by more than 12,000 Iranian attorneys.
Since the 1979 Revolution, prosecutors and judges in Iran are appointed based on their Islamic religious training and have no legal education. The judiciary is essentially the branch which ensures that the regime’s harsh interpretation of Islam is followed throughout society, governing every private aspect of citizens. Lawyers struggle greatly to ensure that their clients are treated in fair manner, that due process is followed, and that their clients’ sentences are respective of human rights and dignity. Lawyers who push too hard against their clients’ mistreatment at the hands of the authorities risk their own personal well-being.
Christians are a frequent target by Iran’s legal apparatus. The government views Christianity as a national security threat since the country is officially Islamic. Christians face long and harsh sentences in some of the country’s toughest jails. Many rely upon lawyers to help them navigate Iran’s complicated and inconsistent legal environment. The harder that Iran cracks down against lawyers, the harder it becomes for Christians to obtain good representation during the judicial challenges they will inevitably face because of their faith.
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