May 11, 2009

Prominent Lawyers Speak on Behalf of Ayatollah Boroujerdi

Kayhan (London)
10th May 2009
Reports from Iran indicate that Ayatollah Kazemeini Boroujerdi was transferred to and is now being held incommunicado in solitary confinement in the province of Yazd.

The latest news was received today from Dr. Guitty Pourfazel, prominent Iranian lawyer and Dr. Abdolfattah Soltani, a member of the High Oversight Council of the Defenders of Human Rights who along with Dr. Shirin Ebadi represented the slain Iranian journalist Zahra Kazemi and Akbar Ganji, now represents Roxana Saberi. The two have been selected by the Boroujerdi family to represent Ayatollah Boroujerdi.

Dr. Pourafazal stated that Ayatollah Boroujerdi since starting a hunger strike has been banned from having contact with any members of his family.
According to Dr. Pourfazel, the Special Court of Clergy has refused to allow her take up the Ayatollah’s defense. This was denied on grounds that only clerics appointed by the Judiciary can make representations on the Ayatollah’s behalf. She stated that it is questionable whether any clerical lawyer appointed by Judiciary could fittingly defend Mr. Boroujerdi.

Dr. Pourfazel urged international human rights organisations and NGOs to pay attention to this important case and take immediate measure to ensure Ayatollah Boroujerdi’s safety and security. She said, “I am deeply concerned that 30 years after the revolution, we still have Revolutionary and Special Courts operating in Iran. This is undermining the Iranian justice system.”

According to Dr. Abdolfattah Soltani, solitary confinement is illegal according to the Islamic Republic Constitution. “Every prisoner, whether clerical or not, has the right of access to independent legal representation, family visits, books, newspapers, radio and television. Ayatollah Boroujerdi is being denied of all these.”

Dr. Soltani continued, “I believe these are problems shared by all political prisoners of conscience.” In particular he named the Baha’i community and the Gonabadi Dervishes. He blamed Mr. Ahmadinejad’s government for the worsening of the human rights situation.
Dr. Pourfazel represents Ayatollah Boroujerdi in legal matters and in media affairs. Along with Dr. Soltani, she represents Ayatollah Boroujerdi vis a vis international media and human rights organisations.

Ayatollah Boroujerdi has condemned Islamic fundamentalism, radicalism and terror. He blames violence in Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan on the “Iranian dictatorship.” Rejecting anti-Semitism and advocating religious freedom, he led benediction ceremonies in the presence of Shiites and Sunnis, Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians and Baha’is. He has called for abolishment of capital punishment, and cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment or punishment such as torture, stoning and whipping.
Nazenin Ansari

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