Joint oral statement during ID with SR on human rights in Iran
On 20 March 2023, Lawyers for Lawyers alongside the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, The Law Society of England and Wales, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, the Geneva Bar Association, and the Law Council of Australia delivered an oral statement during the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran. The Interactive Dialogue took place during the 52nd session of the UN Human Rights Council.
The statement reads as follows:
The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), the Geneva Bar, Lawyers Rights Watch Canada, Lawyers for Lawyers, the Law Council of Australia and the Law Society of England and Wales condemn the ongoing repressive campaign to quash protests since the death of Mahsa Amini, as well as broader limitations on fundamental rights. Peaceful protestors have been met with disproportionate and lethal force by security forces, mass arbitrary arrests and death sentences on vague and broad national security charges.
We are alarmed at the targeting of human rights defenders, including lawyers and journalists, with impunity and an absence of any accountability for serious human rights violations against them. We especially condemn the targeting and intimidation of lawyers in the course of representing protestors in court, including the arbitrary arrest of at least 66 lawyers, of which 11 have been sentenced on national security charges.
We strongly condemn Iran’s non-compliance with the right to a fair trial and due process rights, including, the lack of defendants’ access to a lawyer of their choosing, the inadequate time to prepare a defence, and the use of forced confessions under torture. We highlight that these have occurred in the highly politicised Revolutionary Courts of Iran, without credence to judicial independence.
We commend the removal of Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women, reflecting the international recognition of State repression against Iranian women and girls. We call on this Human Rights Council to keep supporting the independent international fact-finding mission on Iran and urge authorities to immediately release all arbitrarily arrested protestors and human rights defenders, including lawyers, uphold the independence of the legal profession, ensure the right to a fair trial of all accused, and introduce an immediate moratorium on the death penalty with a view to abolition.
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