Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Promoting tolerance and justice through knowledge and understanding
Defenders Under Threat

Maryam Karbasi, A Defender Under Threat

Abdorrahman Boroumand Center
Abdorrahman Boroumand Center
January 14, 2020

Name: Maryam

Surname: Karbasi

Profession: Attorney at law

Place of Work: Tehran

Maryam Karbasi is a member of Iran’s Bar Association and an activist who has taken on human rights cases. On November 13, 2011, she and several other attorneys returning to Iran from Turkey were arrested at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport. Tehran Prosecutor, Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi immediately announced the charges against the lawyers as “commission of security-related crimes and carrying on activities contrary to the tenets of Islam while abroad”. She spent six days in detention and was released on November 19, upon posting bail in the amount of 20 million Tumans. The arrests took place around the same time as Sadeq Larijani’s statements in condemnation of lawyers who gave interviews to foreign-based media. In a speech delivered to the Board of Directors of Tehran’s Bar Association, he stated that giving interviews to foreign media outlets was demeaning to the legal community. He added “the legal profession is an honorable one and we hope that lawyers properly maintain its dignity and prestige.” In response to a question regarding the arrest of several defense attorneys in Iran, Mohammad Javad Larijani, Human Rights High Council Secretary and adviser to the Head of the Judiciary, claimed “[there are] individuals claiming to be lawyers who travel to Western countries instead of defending their clients’ rights in court, and are constantly engaged in conversations with foreign media, [an activity] that has absolutely nothing to do with their functions as a lawyer”.

There is no information regarding the outcome of this case.