The tragic death of Mahsa Zhina Amini, who died after being detained and assaulted by the morality police, has sparked widespread unrest and protests in Iran. The ongoing protests have resulted and continue to result in the deaths and detainment of many seeking justice for Mahsa, and legal rights of others in Iran. The demonstrations have expanded and proliferated by many young Iranians, often led by women, leading to the government restricting Internet access and locking down several universities in Iran, including Iran’s leading educational institutions like Sharif University and Tabriz University.

The international community’s support has grown considerably despite the widespread Internet disruptions inside Iran in response to the domestic protests. Demands for basic human rights have rallied supporters worldwide to marches in solidarity with those in Iran.

The Iranian American Bar Association (IABA) is distressed by the horrific images and videos that have emerged from Iran. We stand in solidarity with Iranian women and all Iranians who are demanding their legal rights, including freedom of speech, expression, and peaceful assembly. The unlawful actions of the Iranian government against Mahsa, protestors, and many others, contradict its legal obligations under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Both treatises, signed by Iran, recognize the rights of all people to peaceful assembly and association, and further uphold the fundamental rights of opinion and expression without state interference. Moreover, both treatises require the Iranian government to respect, protect, and promote the inalienable right to life and expressly prohibit the government from extrajudicial killings and the excessive use of force. As such, the IABA condemns the unlawful treatment of the people of Iran, particularly for the unjust detainment, violence, and killing of Iranian protestors. Finally, the IABA is alarmed by reports that Iranian attorneys, who represent protesters seeking their legal rights, have themselves been jailed. Detaining attorneys for discharging their legal duties to their clients, especially in protecting their fundamental rights, is an egregious violation of legal and international norms.

The IABA strives to educate and inform the Iranian American legal community of any legal matters tied to this issue and provide assistance when possible for those in need. During these crucial and troubling times, the IABA continues to stand by the rule of law and denounces any violation that strips a person of their fundamental human rights.