Acting as court officers, Iranian Police, the Ministry of Information, and Intelligence Units of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps have always interfered to varying degrees in arrests, interrogations, and trials, and have been known to harass the families of prisoners. But after the presidential elections in June 2009, interference has reached a new level. In many arrest cases after the elections, though the case judge has ordered bail or has given the families of prisoners permission to visit, court officers have refused to carry out the orders and complaints filed by families have not been addressed.
While the Iranian Judiciary’s Prisons Organization has full responsibility for Iran’s prisons and the conditions in which prisoners are kept, the court officers appear to have final say in prisons. For example, ward 240 of Evin Prison is under complete control of the Ministry of Information and the Warden of Evin prison does not have influence there. The same is true for wards which are under the control of the IRGC. The domination and interference of court officers in the Iranian judicial system has brought stress on the ability to conduct fair trials.
In September 2009, when Jafari Dolatabadi replaced Saeed Mortazavi as Tehran’s General and Revolutionary Courts Prosecutor, he made a reference to the Judiciary’s autonomy and demanded that the Prosecutor’s oversight on court officers’ be fully implemented. However, after he took office, not onl… >>>