Human Rights Group Demands Closure of Evin Prison Court
International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

(14 April 2010) The Iranian Judiciary should immediately halt the operation of a recently-established “special court” at Evin prison, which confines judges and magistrates to the prison complex and denies lawyers and families any access to judicial proceedings, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today.

“The newly-formed Evin Court has increased the influence of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence over judicial matters by blocking lawyers’ access to clients and case files,” said Hadi Ghaemi, a Campaign spokesperson.

“This allows the interrogators and Intelligence Ministry to manipulate this institution which is itself in violation of the law,” he added.

Lawyers have informed the Campaign that they have been permitted virtually no contact with clients arrested in the aftermath of the Iranian elections who are facing trial in Evin Court, and that access to files was likewise blocked. Some said they feared the restricted access reflected recommendations from the Ministry of Intelligence aimed at weakening their cases and an increased influence by the Ministry over the Iranian Judiciary.

Nasrin Sotoudeh, a lawyer in Tehran, told the Campaign that after the formation of Evin Court and the transfer of her clients’ cases there, it had become impossible for her and her clients’ families to contact the judges. “The judges are now housed in an environment that is entirely under the oversight of the Ministry of Intel... >>>