Iran police
Iran policeiStock

A group of Iranian activists monitoring the grave situation of detainees in Iran announced that over 43 lawyers have been arrested since protests broke out in September after the death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of the morality police.

It is unclear if any of the detained lawyers were among those who had offered to represent protesters pro bono.

Twenty lawyers have been released so far, with some of them only temporarily let out of prison on bail, according to Iran International.

At least two of the lawyers have been sentenced to date. Sina Yousefi, the vice-Chair of the East Azarbaijan Lawyers' Human Rights Commission was given a six month prison sentence and a two-year ban from re-entering Iran, while Negin Kiani was sentenced to one year in prison and a ban on leaving the country.

Multiple lawyers had responded to ongoing protests in Iran by offering to represent those arrested for free, according to the report.

In early November, 40 Iranian lawyers also broke with the regime, issuing a letter stating that the majority of the public no longer wanted to be governed by the Islamic regime. The statement also called on Iranians to speak up in defense of those being targeted by the government.

The lawyers criticized the Supreme Leader’s theocratic rule, asserting that the “legitimacy of any law depends on public will and consent, and no one has the right to decide for them.”