85 Lawyers Call on Iranian Government to Respect Right to Protest
In an unprecedented display of unity in defense of the Iranian people, 85 lawyers from Iran have signed an open letter calling on the Iranian government to respect the right to protest.
“It is the people’s satisfaction towards the rulers that is a fundamental pillar of spiritual and material statecraft, not absolute rule over the people,” wrote the lawyers in the letter published on May 25, 2022.
Iranian security forces violently repressed protests across Iran earlier this month by arresting countless activists and demonstrators, killing protesters, and shutting down internet access. The lawyers are speaking out a time of growing desperation among Iranians amid a crumbling economy and worsening repression by the state.
The appeal comes at a time when human rights lawyers in Iran are themselves also increasingly under attack by the state.
The Iranian judiciary’s ongoing persecution of independent defense lawyers under manufactured charges is central to the Iranian authorities’ strategy to silence and crush dissent in Iran.
By imprisoning or otherwise silencing human rights lawyers, dissidents and human rights defenders can be more easily prosecuted without challenge under sham charges and without any semblance of due process or fair trial rights.
The letter was translated into English by the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) and has been reprinted in full below.
What we have witnessed in recent days is bitter, shocking news, and images of the violent and illegal reaction of the police and security forces toward people who have exercised patience and self-control despite years of grappling with every kind of problem and unrestrained poverty, and now, despite witnessing corrupt and shameless officials plundering the nation’s wealth and stealing billions, the people are resorting purely to peaceful means by organizing rallies guaranteed under Article 27 of the Constitution to show their concerns and express their rightful demands.
It is the people’s satisfaction towards the rulers that is a fundamental pillar of spiritual and material statecraft, not absolute rule over the people. Given that those in power must observe legal limitations, and that based on the principle of accountability the rulers should prevent assaults on people’s rights and protect their lives, wealth and dignity:
We as lawyers, in accordance with our humanitarian and social responsibility, and our grasp of the laws of the country, and our understanding of people’s fundamental rights, and in sympathy with various sectors of society, condemn these violent and criminal actions committed under unlawful orders and call for the protesters’ dignity and human rights as citizens to be respected.
1- Masoud Ahmadian 2- Babak Eslami Farsani, 3- Ebrahim Esmaili Harisi, 4- Shapour Esmailian, 5- Mohammad Reza Akrami, 6- Astareh Ansari, 7- Masoumeh Ouraki, 8- Amir Babamoradi, 9- Tohid Bakhtiari, 10- Javad Parsa, 11- Tootia Partovi Amoli, 12- Hamed Parvandi, 13- Milad Panahipour, 14- Giti Pourfazel, 15- Azita Pouladvand, 16- Amin Pirani, 17- Hossein Taj, 18- Shahab Tajari, 19- Farhad Taghipour, 20- Arjang Jaberian, 21- Noushin Jalilvand, 22- Saeid Jalilian, 23- Abbas Jamali, 24- Kianoush Jamshidian, 25- Mahnaz Jangjoo, 26- Amir Javaheri, 27- Ramazan Haji-Mashhadi, 28- Shahin Hajian, 29- Masoud Hajiani, 30- Yasser Hosseini, 31- Leila Heydari, 32- Payam Derafshan, 33- Saeid Dehghan, 34- Maryam Dehghan, 35- Rasoul Razi, 36- Soheila Rajabpour, 37- Abbas Rahmati, 38- Sohrab Rostami, 39- Hossein Rezaei, 40- Yousef Razavi, 41- Sarallah Rouhi, 42- Gholam-Hossein Raisi, 43- Amir Raesian, 44- Razieh Zeydi, 45- Farzaneh Zilabi, 46- Nazanin Salari, 47- Majid Salmani, 48- Abbas Seyyed-Sadri, 49- Mohammad Seifzadeh, 50- Akbar Sherafat, 51- Ali Sharifzadeh, 52- Reza Shafakhah, 53- Leila Shafaie, 54- Mohammad Shahabi, 55- Manouchehr Shahbazi, 56- Saeid Sheikh, 57- Sanam Sabbaghi, 58- Bahar Sahraian, 59- Mohammad Safaiefar, 60- Ramin Safarnia, 61- Amir Adel Ahmadian, 62- Amin Abbasi, 63- Hassan Abdollahpour, 64- Abolfazl Gholami, 65- Shaghayegh Foroughi, 66- Arash Fa’al, 67- Mohammad Reza Faghihi, 68- Farzad Ghorbani, 69- Erfan Karam Veisi, 70- Sezar Keshavarz, 71- Bahareh Kamali, 72- Faegheh Kobar, 73- Maryam Kianersi, 74- Arash Keykhosravi, 75- Alireza Mafi, 76- Ali Mojtahedzadeh, 77- Saeid Mohammadi, 78- Osman Mozayyan, 79- Reza Motamedi, 80- Mohammad Moghimi, 81- Yasin Mirzaei-Kalhor, 82- Mohammad Reza Nazari, 83- Farid Nikpey, 84- Mostafa Nili, 85- Elahe Yazdi.