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Judge Violates Iranian Constitution-Christian convert, Abdol-Ali Pourmand Denied Legal Council

By Britta Milovansev-DOHI News

Abdol-Ali Pourmand, a 38 year-old Christian convert from Islam who was arrested on October 19, 2017, has been refused legal representation in violation of Iranian constitution Article 35 which states:

“The parties to any litigation shall have the right to legal representation in all courts of justice; if the parties to litigation are not able to select an attorney, legal representation shall be provided for them.”

According to Mohabat News, Pourmand’s family has not yet been given his official charge and his family’s efforts to hire legal representation has been denied. They were told by the judge presiding over his case that they do not have the right to hire a lawyer to represent him in court.

Despite the clear violation of the Iranian constitution, this action to prevent religious prisoners and prisoners of conscious to have proper legal representation is a common practice of the Iranian judiciary.

Before Pourmand’s arrest on October 10, his house was raided and thoroughly searched by security officers while he was not at home. They confiscated several Bibles, notebooks and Christian CD’s. After the search Pourmand was summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence office in Dezful where he was arrested and immediately transferred to Ahwaz.

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United Nation’s Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, Asthma Jahangir, emphasized in her most recent report the increase of religious minority persecution in Iran and called on the Iranian government to put an end to its oppression of religious minorities in the country. The Iranian government has renounced this report and accused Jahangir of false reporting and of having drafted her report with a political agenda in mind.