(24 August 2011) The Iranian Central Bar Association should come to the aid of embattled lawyers subjected to harassment, unfounded criminal charges, or prison sentences for defending prisoners of conscience and advocating for human rights, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today.
The International Bar Association and United Nations Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers should also intervene to defend Iranian lawyers facing persecution, added the Campaign.
Shirin Ebadi, leading human rights lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, provided the Campaign with a list of 42 lawyers who have faced government persecution since June 2009. In the wake of the government’s attack on lawyers, the Iranian Central Bar Association, which represents Tehran, where the majority of these persecuted lawyers practice, has yet to come to the defense of its members.
“Every profession has a guild to protect its members,” Ebadi told the Campaign. “When a film actor is detained, the Cinema Union will at least issue one or two statements objecting to the arrest; or when a reporter or a writer is arrested, their professional organization will object.”
“But how is it that over the past two years, when so many lawyers faced problems because of their professional activities, no organization has come to their defense?” said Ebadi. “Now the question is what is the use of this [Central] Bar Association? One of the mai… >>>