Human Rights

Letter-Writing Action: Bar Associations and Law Schools Should Advocate for Iranian Lawyers

Updated 11 October 2010 to reflect arrest of Houtan Kian by regime forces.

As focus on the human rights crisis in Iran increases, so does the regime’s pressure on lawyers defending human rights cases. The colleagues of Iranian lawyers around the world should stand up in their defense.

We therefore ask concerned people to write to national and international bar associations and law schools to request that they issue formal statement regarding the ongoing persecution of Iranian lawyers for defending their clients.

This particular letter specifically references the situations of Houtan Kian and Nasrine Sotoudeh, but as this 2007 LA Times article shows, the abuse and persecution of Iranian lawyers defending human rights cases is long-standing. All Iranian lawyers must be free to defend their clients.


Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to you with an urgent request that your organization issue a formal statement condemning the Islamic Republic of Iran for harassment and persecution of lawyers defending human rights cases in Iran, including Houtan Kian (defending Sakineh Ashtiani, mother sentenced to be stoned to death) and Nasrine Sotoudeh (defending Issa Saharkhiz, prominent reformist journalist and political prisoner). Both Kian and Sotoudeh have been harassed, their offices ransacked and files stolen by the government. Both have been arrested by the Islamic Republic.

News coverage on Kian’s situation:
UPDATED 11 October 2010: Houtan Kian arrested along with Sakineh Ashtiani’s son in regime home invasion.

News coverage on Sotoudeh:

As the world’s attention is at long last turning to the human rights crisis in Iran, the Islamic regime is also increasing its repression of human rights lawyers. Mr. Kian and Ms. Sotoudeh deserve the full support of their colleagues in the legal profession, in the form of a public and formal condemnation of the reprehensible injustice of the Islamic Republic. The Islamic Republic should not be allowed a free hand to silence lawyers defending human rights cases. Iranian lawyers must be free to represent their clients without fear of harassment and intimidation of themselves, their loved ones, or their colleagues.

I therefore request that your organization issue a public statement demanding immediate and unconditional freedom of Houtan Kian and Nasrine Sotoudeh from prison; and demanding freedom of practice of law for Kian, Sotoudeh and all Iranian lawyers, including an immediate end to harassment and intimidation.

The world must break its silence on the Islamic Republic’s medieval criminal laws, and abuses even of that law. Your colleague, Geoffrey Robertson QC, appointed by the UN Secretary-General as one of the “distinguished jurist” members of the UN Internal Justice Council, has begun this work by issuing his findings on the massacre of political prisoners in Iran in 1988 ( I ask you to continue the fight for justice in Iran at a time when there is no justice to be found.

[your name]

Addresses of Bar Associations and Law Schools:
(compilation of Bar Association addresses courtesy of Shreen Ayob, with many grateful thanks)

International Bar Association (IBA)

Lawyers and legal centers Communities Council of Europe (CCBE)

Organization of Lawyers for Lawyers (Advocaten voor Advocaten)

Goethe University School of Law

Santa Clara University Law School,

The Bar Council (UK)

Criminal Bar Association (UK)

Alba (UK)

The City of London Law Society (UK):

European Young Bar Association (UK):

Estonian Bar Association:

The Finnish Bar Association:

Association Francaise des Avocats:
Association Francaise des Juristes d’Entreprise :
Conseil National des Barreaux :
Arab Association for International Arbitration:
Ordre des Avocats de Paris:

Law Society of Ireland

Netherlands Bar Association

German Bar Association
The German Federal Bar:

Budapest Bar Association (Hungary):

The Icelandic Bar Association:

The Bar Council of Ireland:

The Law Society of Ireland:

Ordine degli Avvocati di Milano (Italy):
Avvocati di Roma (Italy):
Ordine Degli Avvocati Di Perugia (Italy):
Ordine degli Avvocati di Genova (Italy):

Kosova Chamber of Advocates:

Bar Association of Armenia


Azerbaijan Lawyers Confederation

Belgium groups:
Institut des Juristes d’Entreprise:
Nederlandse Orde van Advocaten bij de Balie te Brussel:
Orde van Vlaamse Balies:

Sofia Bar Association(Bulgaria):
Supreme Bar Council of Bulgaria:
Interadvocat Bar Association (Bulgaria):

Croatian Bar Association:

Cyprus Bar Association s:

Czech Bar Association:

The Danish Bar and Law Society:,

Association of Danish Law Firms:

The Latvian Council of Sworn Advocates:

Le Barreau de Luxembourg:

Amsterdam Bar Association:

Netherlands Bar Association:

Law Society of Northern Ireland:

The General Council of the Bar of Northern Ireland:

Norwegian Bar Association:

The Polish Bar Council:
National Council of Legal Advisers of Poland:

Ordem dos Advogados

Bucharest Bar Association (Romania):
Dolj Bar Association (Romania):

Federal Chamber of Lawyers of the Russian Federation:
International Union (Commonwealth) of Advocates (Russian):
Moscow Chamber of Advocates:

Scotland associations:,,

Illustre Colegio de Abogados de Madrid:
Illustre Collegio d’Advocats de Barcelona:
Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Malaga:
Consejo General de la Abogacia Espanola:
Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Valencia:

The Swedish Bar Association:

Swiss Bar Association:

Ankara Bar Association (Turkey):

Union of Turkish Bars:

Ukrainian Bar Association:
Union of Advocates of Ukraine:

Law Council of Australia:
The Australian Bar Association:
Law Society of New South Wales:
The Law Society of the Australian
Capital Territory:
The South Australian Bar
Victorian Bar Council:

Japan Federation of Bar
The Japan Bar Association:
Tokyo Bar Association:

New Zealand:
New Zealand Bar Association:
New Zealand Law Society:

Canadian Bar Association:
Chambre des notaires du Quebec:
Federation of Law Societies of Canada:

Iranian American Bar Association:

American Bar Association
International Liaison Office:
Los Angeles County Bar
National Association of Women
State Bar of Michigan
International Law Section:
New York State Bar Association International Section:

UK Law Schools and Societies

London School of Economics (LSE), dept of Law:
LSE Law Society:

City University Law School:

School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Law School:
SOAS Law Society:,

Oxford University Faculty of Law:

Cambridge University Law Faculty:

Imperial College Law Society:

School of Law: Kings College:
Kings College Law Society:,

UCL Law School:,
UCL Law Society:,

Nottingham Law School:

Aberdeen Law School:

Edinburgh University Law School:

Surrey University Law School:
Surrey University Law Society:

Brunel Law School:
Brunel Law Society:


7 thoughts on “Letter-Writing Action: Bar Associations and Law Schools Should Advocate for Iranian Lawyers

  1. Thanks for the great post, I will email all of them.
    I made the list of emails into something you can copy and paste:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Posted by tara | September 6, 2010, 9:12 am
  2. Iranische Regierung Terrorist , Terrorist

    Stopp,Stopp, Stopp, Hinrichtung Stopp

    Freiheit für alle Politischen Gefangenen in Iran

    Hoch die internationale Solidarität

    Posted by mahmoud nickpi | October 13, 2010, 4:20 pm
  3. The following is a list of email addresses that no longer are in use:,,,

    Also please note that Santa Clara University Law School is no longer with the university. Please address email to: (Deborah Moss-West)

    Posted by Debra Slattery | October 14, 2010, 12:55 pm


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