Defenders Under Threat
Payam Derafshan: A Defender Under Threat
Abdorrahman Boroumand Center
May 8, 2019
Mr. Payam Derafshan is a member of the Bar Association and a human rights attorney. Among his most prominent cases was the case of Kavus Seyyed Emami, a dual national of Iran and Canada. Mr. Seyyed Emami was a university professor and an environmental activist who was arrested in February 2018 and died in custody in Evin Prison after two weeks. Mr. Derafshan has also represented fellow attorneys Nasrin Sotoudeh, Mohammad Najafi, and Arash Kaykhosravi and has given media interviews highlighting the situation of his clients. Payam Derafshan was also among a group of lawyers who lodged a complaint against the Investigating Judge at the Culture and Media Court for filtering Telegram on the grounds that this Judge's broad order, which fell outside his legal authority, had violated people's civil liberties and was in breach of their Constitutional rights. On August 31, 2018, Payam Derafshan was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence agents in Karaj while visiting Arash Kaykhosravi's family, and was taken to the Ministry of Intelligence Detention Center located inside Rajai Shahr Prison. He was interrogated by security agents for eight days while in detention. Ultimately, the Investigating Judge charged Payam Derafshan with "propaganda against the regime" through giving interviews to the media regarding his clients' cases. He was also charged with "insulting [Islamic Republic] officials". He was released after eight days upon posting bail in the amount of 110 million tumans.