Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Promoting tolerance and justice through knowledge and understanding
The Judiciary

Ayatollah Khomeini on the Defendent's Right to Counsel, April 1979

Ayatollah Khomeini/ABF translation
Televised address
April 1, 1979


Ayatollah Khomeini's televised speech of April 2, 1979, was a response to numerous protests by Iranian and international human rights organizations against the lack of due process in the Islamic revolutionary judicial system. Ayatollah Khomeini's approach clearly indicated that Iran's new leadership was rejecting the presumption of innocence, a pillar of the pre-revolutionary justice system, and that defendants were officially considered guilty before being convicted.

Televised address by Ayatollah Khomeini, 2 April 1979

the founder and Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic 1979-1989:

"There should be no objection to the trial of these people, because they are criminals and it is known that they are criminals. All this about a lawyer being needed and that their pleas should be listened to--these are not people charged with crimes, they are criminals."