Submission to UN Human Rights Committee
In 2021, the UN Human Rights Committee will review Iran’s compliance with its international human rights obligations, and more in particular the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Lawyers for Lawyers has taken the opportunity to file a submission on the list of issues to inform the Committee about the situation of lawyers in Iran.
The submission highlights four main issues: criminal prosecution of lawyers, freedom of expression of lawyers, access of lawyers to their clients, and free choice of legal representation.
Lawyers in Iran especially those working on sensitive cases, have reported that they have been consistently subjected to judicial and administrative harassment in connection to their legitimate professional activities. Over the last few years, the number of independent human rights lawyers have been arrested, charged with national-security related crimes, or banned from practicing law has continued to increase.
Lawyers, like any other individual, have the right to freedom of expression. However, Lawyers for Lawyers was informed that lawyers are being sentenced to prison and banned from practising law for exercising their right to freedom of expression. Lawyers have been the subject of criminal prosecution in connection to their reporting on human rights violations, and giving interviews to media.
Moreover, Lawyers for Lawyers was informed by lawyers from the State party that they often experience
difficulties with access to clients in detention, especially when working on sensitive cases. According to our information, lawyers are regularly prevented from meeting with clients. They also have no access to appropriate information, files and documents within sufficient time to provide effective legal assistance to their clients.
The submission also sheds a light on the challenges with regards to the free choice of legal representation in relation the Note to Article 48 of Iran’s Criminal Procedures Regulations.
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