Bucerius Law School Takes on Sponsorship for Amirsalar Davoudi

In solidarity with the efforts of lawyers in Iran, Bucerius Law School is supporting the sponsorship program of HÁWAR.help e.V. for Amirsalar Davoudi.

Amirsalar Davoudi is one of the best-known human rights lawyers in Iran. He has represented numerous political prisoners, especially those persecuted on religious and ethnic grounds. On May 31, 2019, Davoudi was sentenced to 15 years in prison, 111 lashes and the revocation of his civil rights for 2 years. Bucerius Law School views the persecution of the legal profession in Iran with growing concern and calls for the release of human rights lawyer Amirsalar Davoudi, who was imprisoned in violation of the rule of law.

Davoudi has accepted great personal danger for defending of his clients and his determined commitment for justice. In 2022, his work for the equal participation of women in society and for freedom rights in Iran were recognized with the Ludovic Trarieux Human Rights Award.


Accusations Against Davoudi

Davoudi's conviction is based, among other things, on the accusations of having formed a "group to overthrow the government" and of having carried out "propaganda against the state". These accusations are linked to publicly expressed criticism by Amirsalar Davoudi of corruption within the Iranian judicial system, the death penalty, and the general human rights situation in Iran. At the beginning of his imprisonment, Davoudi had no access to legal counsel and was held in solitary confinement for several months. Until his trial, he had no contact with his wife or his now seven-year-old daughter.

The fate of Amirsalar Davoudi's is not an isolated case. Women's and human rights activists, critics, and members of religious or ethnic minorities are subjected to arbitrary arrests and politically motivated convictions in Iran. The proceedings blatantly violate generally recognized principles of the rule of law, which are also binding for Iran under Article 14 of the ICCPR.

The judges are neither independent nor impartial. Witness statements and confessions are often pre-written and forced through torture and threats. Defendants often do not have access legal representation of their own choosing or are unable to contact them before the trial. The work of independent lawyers is threatened by systematic intimidation and arrests.

Bucerius Law School Supports Sponsorship Program

In solidarity with the work of lawyers in Iran, Bucerius Law School supports the sponsorship program of HÁWAR.help e.V. which was recently awarded the Marion Dönhoff Prize. The association arranges sponsorships for political prisoners in Iran who are threatened with execution or a very long prison sentences.

The aim of the sponsorships is to create visibility and public awareness for the people the regime is trying to silence. Since the start of the program, over 400 sponsorships between prisoners and politicians have been arranged. Bucerius Law School is proud to be the first university to take on an institutional sponsorship.

Prof. Dr. Michael Grünberger, President of Bucerius Law School, welcomes the sponsorship: "Perhaps the most important achievement of law is the subjective rights of the individual against the state - universally valid human rights.


As a law school, we have the task of training young people to know, assert and respect these rights. Amirsalar Davoudi is a role model for our students because he shows that standing up for human rights can have serious consequences for the individual - but it is precisely for this reason that one must hold on to this commitment to freedom and equality.”

The hashtag #FreeDavoudi was created for sponsorship and communication on social media.


About Háwar.help e.V.

Mariam Claren, co-initiator of the sponsorship program at HÁWAR.help e.V., emphasizes the importance of Bucerius Law School's commitment:

"In the Islamic Republic of Iran, there is no independent judiciary. Any dissidents are persecuted and sentenced in unfair sham trials. Those who want to defend them are also subjected to this injustice. Mr. Davoudi stood by the side of political prisoners for many years until he himself became a victim of lynching justice. We are delighted that Bucerius Law School has taken on a sponsorship for the imprisoned human rights lawyer Amirsalar Davoudi and is drawing attention to his fate. These people are paying the price of freedom in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the least we can do here is to raise awareness."