August 2, 2018
Iranian attorney Mostafa Tork Hamadani has been charged for criticizing the judiciary for barring him and other defense lawyers from defending environmentalists who were arrested by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Hamadani, who has taken on several human rights cases throughout his career, tweeted a copy of his summons document on July 26, 2018, adding:
“I was summoned to the Culture and Media Court based on a complaint by Tehran’s deputy prosecutor who accused me of spreading falsehoods. The reasons given in the complaint are my tweets about the late Seyed-Emami and the Note to Article 48 regarding the prohibition on lawyers against representing detained environmentalists. The investigator was polite and I hope my defense will be accepted. All my efforts are aimed at improving the climate for lawyers to defend the accused.”
Iranian Canadian academic and environmentalist Kavous Seyed-Emami died under suspicious circumstances in Iran’s Evin Prison in February 2018 after being arrested by the IRGC the previous month.
Several of his colleagues at the Persian Heritage Wildlife Foundation where Seyed-Emami worked as managing director remain detained since being arrested during the same month as him.
Dozens of environmentalists have been arrested around Iran since January 2018 by the IRGC. According to the opposition news site Kalame, the environmentalists were targeted by the IRGC for opposing the installation of missile sites on protected lands.
The detainees were denied access to counsel for months and ultimately not allowed to choose their own lawyer. Some of their relatives have reported serious injuries.
In January 2018, the judiciary released a list of 20 state-approved lawyers allowed to represent detainees facing politically motivated charges, citing the Note to Article 48 of Iran’s Criminal Procedures Regulations.
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