Iran: Award-Winning Students Denied Fair Legal Representation

Iran: Award-Winning Students Denied Fair Legal Representation

Published by on July 27, 2020

International Liberty Association: Two detained award-winning Iranian students continue to be denied legal counsel and family visits after being arbitrarily detained since 10 April 2020.
During the past months, Ali Younesi and Amir Hossein Moradi were tortured to make confessions and held in solitary confinement for nearly two months.

The two award-winning students were interrogated in a general meeting of prosecutors, intelligence officials and others on 14 July without having access to their attorneys.

None of the relatives of the two were present at the session.

The interrogator, judicial and intelligence officials bombarded the two detainees with a barrage of questions and attempted to force them to accept some of their charges.

Reza Younesi, Ali’s brother wrote in his Twitter account that some “so-called” professors and students “who are fully tied to security forces” played “the role of interrogators in a group interrogation session.”
He emphasized that “even in that group interrogation session” Younesi and Moradi “did not accept their charges.”

According to the report by the Islamic Association of students, Ali Younesi said: “I only want my case out of the Intelligence Ministry so I can defend myself in court.”

According to several published reports, it is clear that the two detained award-winning Iranian students have been under pressure to make televised confessions during their detention.

During the meeting, judicial officials also aired videos of several “sabotage” acts, which were belonged to November Protests, claiming that they were carried out by Ali Younesi and Amir Hossein Moradi.

The Sharif University of Technology Students’ Islamic Association noted in its report that “the faces of the individuals in the footage were not identifiable,” and the two detained students “did not confirm or deny their presence in the films.”

Ali Younesi’s sister wrote on her Twitter account: “The public lawyer (Reza Dardizadeh) that you have appointed is more paving the way for the scenario of the security forces than defending my brother!!!”

The authorities arrested Ali Younesi, 20, on a Tehran street on 10 April 2020, and then took him to his house with blood on his face to search his belongings. His friend, Amirhossein Moradi, also 20, was arrested the same day.

Ali Younesi is a silver and gold medal recipient in Iran’s National Astronomy Olympiad and the 2018 gold medal winner in the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad held in China. Amir Hossein Moradi is the silver medal recipient in Iran’s National Astronomy Olympiad.

Under article 48 of Iran’s 2014 criminal procedure, detainees charged with various offences, including national or international security crimes, political and media crimes, must select their counsel from a pre-approved pool of lawyers selected by Iran’s judiciary during the investigation. In June 2018, the judiciary published a list that included only 20 lawyers allowed to represent people charged with national security crimes in Tehran province. The list did not include any women or human rights lawyers.

ILA: International law guarantees anyone accused of crime access to a lawyer at all stages of criminal proceedings, including during the investigation, the pretrial proceedings, and during the trial itself. Under Article 1 of the UN basic principles of the role of a lawyer, “All persons are entitled to call upon the assistance of a lawyer of their choice to protect and establish their rights and to defend them in all stages of criminal proceedings.”

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