Detained Rights Lawyers’ Homes Raided Without Warrant
Agents Confiscate Personal Security Cameras to Hide Evidence of Unlawful Raid
State security agents carried out search operations in the homes of two detained human rights lawyers, Arash Keykhosravi and Mohammad Reza Faghihi, in Tehran eleven days after the lawyers were unlawfully arrested along with colleagues and activists.
Keykhosravi and Faghihi along with Mehdi Mahmoudian (civil activist), Mostafa Nili (lawyer), Leila Heydari (lawyer), and Maryam Afrafaraz (civil activist) were arrested in Tehran on August 14, 2021, and their phones and other personal belongings were confiscated without a warrant. Heydari was released the following day.
Prior to being arrested, they were planning to file a lawsuit against Iranian authorities in accordance with Article 34 of the Constitution, accusing the government of “negligence in carrying out their duties and causing the deaths of thousands of Iranians” by failing to properly manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
Attorney Saeed Khalili tweeted on August 25, 2021: “This morning I went to the Evin [Prison] magistrate to declare my representation of my dear colleague Mr. Faghihi upon his family’s request and at the front gate I was told that no lawyers would be accepted and no one would be released on bail. On my way back I was informed that agents had raided his home and were carrying out a search.”
On the same day, human rights lawyer Saeid Dehghan tweeted: “Security agents raided the paternal home of Arash Keykhosravi today. They (went inside) his room, closed the door and didn’t allow his relatives inside for several minutes. It was a setup to ‘gain reason’ (for the raid) by planting evidence! They first detain you and then search for a reason! They also took away the closed-circuit cameras so that there would be no evidence of the raid.”
The agents’ confiscations of the detainees’ personal electronic devices, and the raids against their homes, indicate that the authorities were trying to collect or plant evidence to build a case against t.
The behavior of the security agents in Keykhosravi’s family home was particularly disturbing since they hid evidence of their actions by removing cameras from inside the house. It is yet unclear which state agency they represented.
So far, the arresting authorities have violated the law by detaining and holding the lawyers and activists without reason, carrying out illegal raids and search operations, and concealing evidence in Keykhosravi’s father’s home by confiscating his security cameras.
Despite earlier signs that some of the detainees were going to be quickly released, the latest developments suggest the existence of serious obstacles.
Read this article in Persian.