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Iran’s Judiciary Restricts Legal Complaints To Protect Officials

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Iran’s Judiciary has mandated provincial justice departments to cease registering legal complaints against state officials, a move widely seen as a way to further shield government and military officials from facing accountability.

The latest directive instructs that instead of allowing individuals to file legal complaints directly, they are now told to go to the administrative offices or public relations departments of the relevant government organization.

While the Iranian judiciary lacks independence, individuals file legal complaints, akin to those in the West, before initiating lawsuits to assert their rights.

Prominent journalist and political analyst Abbas Abdi criticized the directive, saying the move is not lawful.

“This resolution is not legal because neither ‘government officials and state leaders’ have been defined, nor has any legal article been mentioned. These are futile patches sewn onto regulations to block the paths of protest,” Abdi said.

In Iran, numerous high-ranking officials and military organizations – including members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) – possess legal immunity, shielding them from prosecution.

In one prominent case, when the IRGC shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752, resulting in the deaths of all 176 people onboard – families were told by the Tehran Military Prosecutor’s Office that several government and military organizations and several high-ranking officials cannot be legally prosecuted.

Critics have long argued that it is one more indication of the regime’s culture of impunity – where corruption, abuse of power, and human rights violations by officials are not confronted with legal consequences.