Iran’s Judiciary spokesman said in a press conference on August 31 that lawyers who were detained in mid-August are charged with “disrupting order”.
According to a state-run judiciary website, the lawyers and civil activists were charged with “disrupting order” and other opposing state security charges. The spokesman said there were nine lawyers and civil activist detained, four of which were later released.
On August 14, the Human Rights News Agency reported Arash Kikhsarvi, Mostafa Nili, Mehdi Mahmoudian, Mohammadreza Faqihi, Mohammad-Hadi Arefian Kaseb, Maryam Afrafaraz, and Leila Heidari were detained by security forces in Tehran. Their personal belongings including their smartphones were confiscated. Mehdi and Mostafa were detained in their office.
According to reports, the arrests were carried out without a warrant. Ali Mojtahedzadeh, an Iranian lawyer, said in a tweet on August 15 that the lawyers planned to sue Iranian officials for negligence related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some reports said they planned to sue Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.
Amnesty International also said in a tweet that they were arbitrarily detained for holding a meeting to discuss possible legal action in support of people’s right to lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines and that they must be immediately released.
The Human Rights News Agency wrote that Arash Kikhsarvi, Mostafa Nili, and Mehdi Mahmoudian were kept in Section 241 of Evin Prison and were banned from phone calls from the first day.
This is while Iranians are fed up with the COVID-19 mismanagement and negligence and are openly blaming Khamenei for the deaths of COVID-19 victims, who could have been saved if he had not banned the reputable US and UK-made vaccines.
On August 9, the CEO of Tehran’s Behesht Zahra cemetery said there were 41,591 COVID-19 victims buried in the cemetery, which accounts for 40% of the state-announced death toll.
Iran’s Health Ministry put the death toll at 108,393 for yesterday. The National Council of Resistance of Iran, an opposition group that accuses the regime of lying about the number of deaths, said that the actual death toll was well over 399,000.
In the past months, state-run media report of hospitals and ICUs brimming with COVID-19 infected patients. At the same time, cemeteries are filled, and provinces report not having enough room to bury the bodies.