Friday, October 15, 2021

Ban on visiting lawyers with Telegram Channel administrators in jail

Ban on visiting lawyers with Telegram Channel administrators in jail

Ban on visiting lawyers with Telegram Channel administrators in jail – Gholam Hossein Esmaeili, Head of Tehran Justice General’s Office on the case of …

Iran Briefing       Gholam Hossein Esmaeili, Head of Tehran Justice General’s Office on the case of several arrested Telegram directors said: “The indictment has been filed and referred to the court for a review.”   

Ban on visiting lawyers with Telegram Channel administrators in jail
Ban on visiting lawyers with Telegram Channel administrators in jail

One of the arrested administrators’ lawyer criticized Evin prison authorities for not meeting his client despite having a permission letter from the judge.

Mohammad Taher Kanaani, the lawyer of Nima Keshvari, says in an interview with Ilna that despite the judge’s permission, Evin prison authorities have prevented him meeting with his client: “Concerning a letter from the judge, I went to Evin Prison to sign the contract with Nima Keshvari but unfortunately, despite several phone calls and arrangements with the Evin authorities and discussing the situation, I was not allowed to meet my client. They said that I have to be the person’s lawyer first, and then visit him!”

Proclaiming that after 22 years of working as a professional authorney he had never encountered such a problem, Keshvari’s lawyer calls it  “a deterioration in justice against the rights of prisoners and lawyers.” “Instead of moving forward and developing justice, we sometimes get backward. My question is, how is it possible to discuss the contract and determine the honorarium, or the terms and conditions and the ability of defense without meeting with each other? This is violation against the rights of the prisoner and the lawyer” He admitted. He added that his client had to sign a contract over the phone based on a predictated contract and he left the prison without meeting and consulting with his client.

Behzad Keshvari, Nima’s brother, also tweeted on July 2nd, that despite Abu al-Qusim Salavati’s permission, the authorities of the Revolutionary Guard Corps’ section, 2 A (Do Alef) , prevented his brother from meeting with a lawyer.

According to article 48 of the Civil Procedure and its Note,  the accused may demand the presence of a lawyer just after his detension and in case of commiting security offenses, the accused is not allowed to meet with a lawyer for only one week, and after one week, in case of requesting by the accused or the lawyer, they must be allowed to meet with each other  however it has been more than 100 days since the Telegram directors were arrested. Moreover, while the resources and families of the media activists reported their hunger strike, the lawyers of the other defendants also said they were not able to meet with their clients.

Seyed Ali Mojtahedzadeh, the lawyer of two other media activists, said to Ilna on June 27, that he still failed to meet his clients but he announced that Saeid Naghdi broke his hunger strike.

He objected the denial statement of judicial spokesman calling for more clear information about the judiciary: “The deputy minister of the judiciary interviewed yesterday and rejected the whole case of these people’s hunger strike while Mr. Naghdi has been in contact with his family informing them about breaking his strike, and we dont have any information about Mr. Keshvari’s situation. Considering the contradictions in the statements made by their families and as far as I, as an athorney, could not meet with these people, I suggest the judiciary which has access to them, give more explanation about their situation.”

Mr. Mojtahadzadeh also called his clients’ accusations more”political disputes” other than “accusations” saying: “These people’s accusations are related to the current government, and those who cooprate with the government can not be accused of  acting against national security . These people recognize the system and the rule and we can not believe that they intended to act against the interests of the system.”

Mostafa Tork Hamedani, the other lawyer who refered to the court to accept the advocacy of the Telegramm administrators, told ILNA on June 21, that the court did not issued the license: “After referring a number of families of detainees of the Telegram administrators case, I went to the relevant judicial branch to take legal action by admitting one of the defendants’ advocacy but the honorable judge did not allow me to do so. Given the fact that the action of the judicial authority is against the law, I will pursue it.”

Releasing the news of the hunger strike of pro-government media activists in protest of the prolonged detention and lack of access to lawyers, on June 24, Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehei, the Judicary’s spokesman in an interview with Ilna news agency called the hunger strike news as “ rumors”.

After more than a hundred days of the media-activists’ detaetion by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, their lawyers have not been able to visit their clients due to the authorities of the Section 2-A opposition.

Mohseni Ejehei, after more than three months of the media activists’ detention said that the case is still under investigation and other people should be summoned: “their case is still under investigation. Some other people have to be summoned and investigated, their hunger strike is a rumor. If someone has some right words to say, he should talk his words and then keep track of his case.”

Heydar Vali Zadeh, one of the Telegram directors who was released on bail, on June 20, criticized the government and wrote in his chanel  that the government did not do anything to support the arrested activists: “Unfortunately, the government has not taken any serious action regarding other friends and me, except a few slogans; some friends even can not efford a lawyer. While all these arrested administrators were steady supporters of the government, they used their full capacity to defend Mr. Rouhani’s government during these years, if they did not, the lack of the media team in Mr. Rouhani’s system would never filled.”

On the eve of the presidential election in Iran and around the last days of the year, the security forces of the Revolutionary Guard Corps arrested eight administrators of twelve Telegram channels close to the reformists, removed the content of the channel, renamed them, and closed the access of the directors to the chanels. Some of these directors were released soon after their detention, but according to the campaign’s sources, at least six of them remained in the solitary confinement of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Section 2-A.

The detention of the pro-government Telegram Chanel administrators near the elections turned the conflict between Rouhani’s government and the judiciary system. President Hassan Rouhani stated that according to the Ministry of Intelligence the media activists did not commit a crime, but the Iranian Judiciary’s spokesman responded to him by accusing the intelligence minister saying: “In this particular case there is even some stories about the Information Minister which, of course, stops him from even expertizing and submitting a report. “

The judiciary spokesman, Mohseni Ejehei also talked about some detainees’ accusations: “some were arrested on charges of “anti-security issues” and some others due to “committing crimes against public chastity and publishing pornographic materials” in addition to anti-security issues.”

He did not provide any additional information on what he said about the Minister of Intelligence, however Hussein Naghavi Hosseini, the spokesman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of Parliament stated on June 6th, that one of the detainees is the director of the Telegram Chanel of Minister of Intelligence.

The families of five arrested directors, Mojtaba Bagheri, Sobhan Jafari Taash, Javad Jamshidi, Nima Keshvari and Saeid Naghdi, also filed a lawsuit to the Majlis Article 90 Commission on June 6 against the Judiciary’s function.

According to the Article 90 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, anyone who has a complaint about the parliament, the executive branch, or the Judiciary, may submit his writen complaint to the Islamic Consultative Assembly. The parliament is required to handle the complaints and respond adequately. In cases where the complaint is about the executive branch or the Judiciary, the Parliament may ask them for adequate response, and declare the outcome in the appropriate time. İn addition to that, they may provide public information.

The informed source told to the campaign that the outcome of the proceedings of the Majlis Article 90 Commission has not been determined about the complaint.

22 MPs also on May 30, questioned the Ministry of Intelligence about the reason of the arrestment of five pro-government Telegram channel’s administrants and their abeyance for more than two months. The signor MPs denounced  that unlike the Constitution, the detainees have not been charged in the legal and appropriate time. Moreover, They have not been given permission to introduce a lawyer to the judiciary.

Although the Minister of Intelligence attended the Parliament and answered the questions of the deputies, his statements were not publicized. The families of the detainees and  the public opinion are still not properly informed about the reasons for their arrestment. After more than three months dispute between the intelligence agencies and the Revolutionary Guards, it is still unclear that why the Revolutionary Guards arrested media activists supporting the government on the eve of the election.

Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani, criticized the judiciary for the detentions and impeachments without legal grounds in his last statement at the Judiciary conference held on July 2, with the presence of the authorities, without indicating the arrestment of media activists supporting his government: “We do not have the right to dishonor the people, or to summon or attract anyone without sufficient evidence. First, we must have enough evidence to convict the accused and then summon him, but not to summon the defendant first and then create evidences!”

Without referring to the Revolutionary Guards, he also said that according to the Constitution, the judiciary can not detain the accused for more than 24 hours without a judge’s order. The case of the government-sponsored media activists is referred to Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court and their trial is scheduled to take place in late August.

Iran Briefing | News Press Focus on Human Rights Violation by IRGC, Iran Human Rights

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