Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
A/HRC/25/61 para 96(e)
Full recommendation
To prevent the intimidation of lawyers, including threats of detention and prosecution for
discharging their ethical and professional responsibilities, including when submitting client
grievances and addressing international and national media on their client’s behalf, which
should be possible without fear of prosecution under national security and defamation laws.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
The 1955 Law for the Independence of Lawyers established the independence of the Bar
Association and granted lawyers with immunity from prosecution for their work.2 However,
following its disestablishment after the Iranian Revolution and its subsequent reinstitution, the
Bar Association has been put under increased Judiciary governance.3 Additionally, the Iranian
Government has repeatedly attempted to amend bylaws of the Bar Association and reduce the
independence of lawyers.4 5 6 Most recently, a draft bill presented in May 2020 would replace the
Bar Association with the “Supreme Council of the Coordination of Lawyers’ Affairs,” which
would be composed of Government appointed judiciaries.7
In 2014, President Rouhani reportedly stated that “a lawyer should be immune from any
prosecution for carrying out its professional duty, and the investigative authority for the lawyers’
professional issues is the Bar Association.”8 Yet, human rights lawyers have increasingly been
targeted for repression and faced arrest, detention, and imprisonment solely for exercising their
rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly and for carrying out their professional
work to defend their clients. Lawyers defending human rights defenders, political prisoners and
prisoners of conscience have been reportedly harassed, arrested, detained and prosecuted in the

1

CCPR.14.1.S.2; CCPR.9.3.S.2; CCPR.9.1.S.3; CCPR.14.1.P.3; CCPR.9.5.P.2; CCPR.14.1.O.5; CCPR.14.1.O.6;
CCPR.14.1.O.8; CCPR.9.2.O.4
2
Abdorrahman Boroumand Center, https://www.iranrights.org/newsletter/issue/97
3
See more: Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, https://iranhrdc.org/iranian-bar-associations-struggle-for-independence/
4
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, May 2015, https://undocs.org/A/HRC/28/70
5
Human Rights Watch, https://www.hrw.org/news/2009/07/16/iran-halt-moves-curtail-lawyers
6
Lawyers for Lawyers, https://lawyersforlawyers.org/en/iran-lawyers-call-upon-iranian-authorities-to-revoke-controversial-bill/
7
Radio Farda, https://en.radiofarda.com/a/more-than-12-000-lawyers-in-iran-reject-move-to-dismantle-barassociation/30590110.html
8
Lawyers for lawyers, https://lawyersforlawyers.org/wp-content/uploads/Oral-statement-Iran-L4L-LRWC-19-3-2015.pdf;
Meeting the members of the board of Directors of Bar Associations, February 2014) See:
http://www.rouhani.ir/event.php?event_id=310

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