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Defenders Under Threat

Mariam Kian Ersi, A Defender Under Threat

Abdorrahman Boroumand Center
Abdorrahman Boroumand Center
January 14, 2020
Report

Name: Maryam

Surname: Kian Ersi

Profession: Attorney at law

Place of Work: Tehran

Maryam Kian Ersi is a member of Iran’s Bar Association and a women’s rights and children’s rights activist who has taken on human rights cases, including the case of Kobra Najjar, a woman sentenced to stoning. On November 13, 2011, she and several other attorneys returning to Iran from Turkey were arrested at Tehran’ 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 one month in detention and was released on bail on December 14, 2011. 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.