LAWYER FOR Mrs. KAAR AND LAHIJI RESIGNS IN PROTEST
TEHRAN 6 June (IPS)
Mrs. Shirin Ebadi, one of the most eminent Iranian female lawyers announced that she was resigning to represent a colleague and a publisher in protest to the "illegal" behaviour of the Iranian Judiciary concerning political detainees.
Speaking to reporters, including the Persian and Pashtou Services of the BBC, Mrs. Ebadi revealed that in the one month she has been representing Mrs. Mehranguiz Kaar, a secularits lawyer and Mrs. Shahla Lahiji, an independent Publisher, the Judiciary has adamantly refused her to contact the prisoners and talk and consult with them.
Mrs. Kaar and Lahiji were arrested more than a month ago on their return from Berlin where they had attended a conference organised in the German capital by the Heinrish Boel Institute to debate the future of the Islamic Republic in the aftermath of the landslide victory of the reformist in the last February Majles (parliament) elections.
But the meeting was jolted and disrupted from the start by groups of Iranian political and some less political opposition groups chanting anti-Islamic Republic slogans and also denouncing the Iranian participants of the Conference as being "mercenaries" of the theocratic system.
The second day of the venue saw a an Iranian woman taking off her cloth but the Islamic chador while a man was exhibiting completely nude, probably in order to be pictured to help him getting political asylum from German authorities.
Held at the height of tension between the triumphant reformists and the defeated conservatives, with the latter planing to proclaim a state of emergency in order to cancel the elections and prevent the formation of the new Legislative, the Berlin Conference became an arm against the reformists in the hands of the hard liners who called on the authorities to arrest all the 17 Iranians who attended the meeting.
But while Mrs. Kaar, Lahiji, Mr. Akbar Ganji, the leading Iranian investigative journalist and writer and Mr. Alireza Afshar, a students leader were arrested and charged with "anti-State propaganda and activities", Mr. Hamid Reza Jala'ipour, publisher of the banned Asre Azadegan Mr. Ezzatollah Sahabi, owner of the closed Iran Farda bi-weekly and Mrs. Jamileh Kadivar, the second elected MP from Tehran were released on bail while others, like Hojjatoleslam hasan Yusefi Eshkevari, a nationalist-religious reformer or Dr. Changuiz Pahlavan, a scholar, are still in Europe.
Mrs. Ebadi observed that Mrs. Kaar, who is also a prominent lawyer, has many of her clients bewildered while Mrs. Lahiji has to take important decisions, but the Judiciary authorities would refuse them contact and consultation with their lawyer.
At the same time, friends and families of the detainees expressed concern on their health situation and a prisoner released recently said Mr. Ganji is seriously ill and must be taken to hospital but that the prison authorities refuses.
They told journalists that all four detainees are suffering from heavy psychic and moral pressure and some of them are denied medical care.
"Not only the Judiciary systematically refuses to answer my questions, but they also ignored a protest letter sent to them by the Bar Association", Mrs. Ebadi said, adding: "in such a situation where I as a lawyer can do nothing for the prisoner, it is better to let them face the authorities", she pointed out. ENDS EBADI PROTEST 6600
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