I Ask Ayatollah Khamenei To Intervene In Zeinab Jalalian’s Case, Says Lawyer
In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Iranian lawyer Khalil Bahramian talked about his efforts to visit Zeinab Jalalian in prison in order to have her sign power of attorney documents. Bahramian, a member of the International Committee Against Executions told the Campaign that when he appeared at Evin Prison, he was told that this prisoner is not in the custody of the Iranian Prisons Organization, and that she is at Evin’s Security Ward 209. He was not permitted to visit her or complete the powers of attorney documents. “They told me to send them the power of attorney, so that they could act upon it. I was unsuccessful in the end,” he said.
Bahramian told the Campaign that he believes his lack of success in meeting with Zeinab Jalalian or getting the documents signed is due to the Prosecutor’s opposition. “They told me that this can only be done with the direct orders of the Tehran Prosecutor himself. My question is, having completed all the stages in her trial and receiving the death sentence, which they say has been upheld, why hasn’t she been moved to the General Ward? Why is she still in the Security Ward? This action is against the Iranian Constitution and the Citizenship Rights Protection Law, which was approved by the Iranian Parliament in 2007 through Mr. Shahroudi’s vigorous efforts. One of the articles in this law deems the presence of the defense lawyer throughout the entire process as necessary. Since the sentence has been issued like this and there is no more room for [a defense lawyer in] investigations and the trial of this prisoner, why can’t she have a lawyer now? My esteemed colleague, Mr. Sharif has also pointed this out. When I went to the Prison today, I heard the same thing that Mr. Sharif had heard before. Neither he nor I have been able to get power of attorney documents for Zeinab,” Khalilian said.
“If the Tehran Prosecutor is really opposed to this, he has deviated from his duty to implement the law; he is standing in the way of the law, and this poses a disastrous and unique situation,” he continued.
Responding to the question of what could be the reason for the Prosecutor’s opposition, he said: “Don’t look for reasons here. Personal will rules here. Here, the law is only something written on a piece of paper, displayed in the store window only when it’s necessary. Its purpose is to show that laws exist, but we must never expect to see them implemented. Expecting the implementation of the laws is tantamount to unwarranted interference in the government’s power.”
Expressing his concern about the alarming situation of Zeinab prior to her transfer to Tehran he said: “When Zeinab was in Kermanshah, the prison guards at the gate of the Kermanshah Women’s Prison said that she had been there until a month ago when she was transferred to Tehran Investigative Police Organization, and that she had never returned to the Kermanshah Prison. This was very alarming. It was questionable to me why would someone with a security case be transferred to the Investigative Police! Now that she is at Ward 209, it makes more sense. About Zeinab’s condition, as I have been unable to review the case, I cannot express any opinions.”
“My socio-political understanding of this type of action is that depending on the proportions of crisis, pressure, economic and social problems facing the government, the government assumes tough positions on people. People are the victims of such crisis. This type of extremism and sharp and harsh confrontation cannot be a simple matter,” said Bahramian analyzing the current state of affairs.
Bahramian stated his request of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran: “I would like to request that Ayatollah Khamenei himself intervene in this situation. He can order the case to be judged by experienced, impartial, and humane judges. I also ask the UN Secretary General to intervene and act directly. I don’t wish for him to issue orders and send envoys–formalities won’t do here.” When asked whether he has submitted his request to the Supreme Leader in writing he responded: “We cannot write a letter and get it to him. There are so many barriers making this impossible. I believe the only way is for us to go through the media abroad, which I understand he follows. As a lawyer the same age as him, I would like to make a legal request of him to pay attention to this case, because the illegal and inappropriate actions of others are often registered in his name. The society will not be corrected through murder. States and governments that choose this route only intensify the crisis. I wish the Iranian government would transform into a law-abiding state. I wish the Iranian judicial system would not break the law.”