Hundreds of Lawyers Advocate on Behalf of Imprisoned Dervish Lawyers
In two separate letters addressed to Head of the Iranian Judiciary Sadegh Larijani, hundreds of Iranian lawyers have asked him for his immediate review of the judicial violations in the cases of four imprisoned Dervish lawyers. According to Majzooban-e Noor website, in one of the letters, 177 lawyers asked Larijani to review Judge Salavati’s conduct in the cases. “Issues such as the defendants’ lack of access to a lawyer of their choosing, failure to make the cases available to all the lawyers involved to prepare their defense, failure to invite all lawyers representing the defendants to the trial sessions, and convening the court in the absence of all lawyers and a representative from the Prosecutor’s Office, all of which, if confirmed, are clear violations of the Constitution and relevant laws.”
Farshid Yadollahi, Amir Eslami, Mostafa Daneshjoo, and Omid Behrouzi are the four lawyers referenced in the letters. The men are currently in prison, serving seven and half years prison sentences, each on charges of “establishing the illegal Majzooban-e Noor Group with the intent to disrupt national security,” “propaganda against the regime,” “insulting the Supreme Leader,” and “participation in disrupting public order.”
The four men are lawyers who represented the Gonabadi Dervishes arrested in September 2012. They ran the Majzooban-e Noor website, which focused on disseminating news about Dervishes. After the four lawyers refused to attend their court trial on January 15, 2013, in protest of the court’s lack of qualification and the illegal process of their cases, Judge Salavati ordered their transfer from Evin Prison’s General Ward to Ward 209. On July 13, 2013, Branch 15 of Tehran Revolutionary Court found the men guilty of all charges.
In another letter to Sadegh Larijani, signed by 464 lawyers, the lawyers warn Head of the Judiciary that the detention period of the dervish lawyers is now “exceeding the minimum sentence for each of their charges,” and “refusal to allow the lawyers to review the case and present defense,” as violations of law in the cases of the detained lawyers.
Signatories to the letters asked Sadegh Larijani to allow for full implementation of the law and observance of the rights of the imprisoned lawyers.
ِDuring their imprisonment, the four lawyers have repeatedly embarked on hunger strikes to protest their detention conditions and their unfair treatment by the Judiciary.