Joint oral statement to Human Rights Council on Iran
On 16 March 2022, Lawyers for Lawyers alongside Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), and Front Line Defenders delivered an oral statement on the arbitrary detention and ill-treatment of human rights lawyers and defenders during the General Debate. The General Debate took place during the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
The statement reads as follows:
This is a joint statement. Iran’s pattern of arbitrary detention of human rights lawyers and defenders is of serious concern. Iran regularly deploys judicial harassment of human rights advocates to obstruct remedies for rights violations, particularly rights of women and minorities. Numerous lawyers have been subjected to prolonged pre-trial detention, unfair trials based on vague and overbroad laws, lengthy prison sentences, and ill-treatment, merely for carrying out their duties as members of the legal profession or legitimate human rights advocacy.
Our organizations note numerous communications to Iran by Special Procedures mandate holders in 2021. We also note their concerns about efforts to undermine the independence of Iran’s Bar Associations.
Iran also plans alarming internet legislation that is likely to further hamper human rights advocacy.
We ask the Council to call on Iran to immediately:
- Halt all forms of harassment of lawyers and defenders, and abide by the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers;
- Drop the charges against lawyers Nasrin Sotoudeh, Amirsalar Davoudi, Hoda Amid, Mustafa Nili, Arash Keykhosravi, Mohammad Najafi, Payam Derafshan, and Farzaneh Zilabi, and release those lawyers still detained.
- Provide the Special Rapporteur on Iran with full access to the country and accept all outstanding invitations for country visits by Special Procedures.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Click here to see video statement at 01:42:14.
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