Profile Profile Criminal Defence Annahita appears in a wide range of matters in Magistrates' and Crown Courts. She has had particular success with stopping prosecutions following her identification of disclosure and evidential issues. Immigration and Asylum Annahita has particular experience in immigration detention cases. Committed to challenging the government's hostile environment policy, she regularly represents immigration detainees including those with acute mental health needs and survivors of torture, modern slavery and human trafficking. Annahita volunteered with Bail for Immigration Detainees where she drafted Pre-Action Protocols, ran legal advice workshops in Immigration Removal Centres and made bail applications. As a trainee journalist at the BBC, she investigated allegations of poor healthcare in immigration detention, obtaining over 80 testimonials. Annahita advises on and drafts Judicial Review claims challenging Home Office decisions. International Criminal Law and Human Rights Annahita is currently producing educational legal briefs on war crimes and human rights issues including genocide, blockades, annexation and illegal occupation; for a media organisation responding to events in the Gaza Strip. Annahita has assisted legal teams in cases concerning foreign prisons, universal jurisdiction prosecutions and governments' rights before the International Criminal Court. Annahita has conducted research for the production of judicial training materials on human rights law for judges in the Western Balkans, to assist their promotion of the rule of law and stabilisation of the region following the Bosnian Genocide. Separate work Annahita leads Harrow Law Centre's Victims of Crime Project. Her key responsibilities include improving access to justice for survivors of modern slavery and human trafficking, hate crime and discrimination; and holding government bodies including the police to account. Annahita is an Editor at the Red Pepper where she commissions and edits justice related articles, and investigates and reports on violations of human rights in the UK and abroad. She trained as a journalist at the BBC's World Service (Future Voices, 2019), and is interested in war and conflict journalism. Annahita is a second six pupil and so is not a tenant/member of 33 Bedford Row. Qualifications Qualifications Bar Professional Training Course, University of Law, 2015 - 2016 MA Legal and Political Theory, UCL, 2014 - 2015 LLB, SOAS, 2011 - 2014 Awards & Prizes Awards & Prizes Prince of Wales Scholarship (merits based), Gray's Inn, £16000 Performance Award (merits based), University of Law, £1000 Seminars Seminars Trainer: Criminal Exploitation of Youths: Police Duties', Harrow Law Centre, Webinar (2020) Trainer: 'Police Powers', Harrow Law Centre, Webinar (2020) Speaker: 'Social Mobility at the Criminal Bar', Criminal Bar Association, Webinar (2020) Speaker: 'Nice Judge on a Good Day', Bail for Immigration Detainees, Linklaters LLP (2018) Trainer: 'Defending Clients Who May Be Trafficking/Modern Slavery Victims', Sonn Macmillan Walker (2018) Speaker: 'Britain's Dirty Little Secret - Immigration Detention', Bail for Immigration Detainees, SOAS (2017) Trainer: 'How to Make an Immigration Bail Application', Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre (2017) Publications Publications Upcoming/ongoing investigation: The Prosecution of Trafficked Children, Red Pepper Solitary Punishment in YOIs, Red Pepper (Print summer issue - 2020) The Politics of Covid-19: Urgent Calls to End Immigration Detention, Red Pepper (2020) Why I Volunteer with BiD as an Advocate, Bail for Immigration Detainees (2019) My Oxygen: Why I Stand with People in Detention, Bail for Immigration Detainees (2019) The Treatment of Shamima Begum Should Worry Us All, Red Pepper (2019) The Stansted 15 Trial: the Hostile Environment and Human Rights Defenders, Red Pepper (2019) The Iranian Struggle for Freedom: our Bodies are a Battleground, Red Pepper (2018) How the Criminal Justice System Targets BAME Children, Red Pepper (2018) Child Custody: an Inappropriate Measure, National Association for Youth Justice (2018) County Lines: The State's Duties Towards Potential Trafficking and Slavery Victims, National Association for Youth Justice (2018) Initial Impressions of Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre, Bail for Immigration Detainees (2017) How the Government is Breaking its Own Rules: Immigration Detention, Red Pepper (2017) Guidance on Punitive Restrictions on Youth Offenders, Youth Justice Legal Centre (2017) Seminar Summary: Female Genital Mutilation - Civil Protection Orders, Bar Human Rights Committee (2016) EDITOR Recent on-going collaborations: War on terror and Prevent strategy Syrian prison conditions Use of arbitrary arrests, detention and lethal force against Palestinians 'Reversing the flow: School exclusions to prisons pipeline' 'Prison profits over healthcare' Increased use of surveillance technology Covid-19: Government's arguably inadequate protection of domestic violence victims, asylum seekers, migrants and people who are homeless Covid-19: Challenging the use of immigration detention by making claims for judicial review Languages Languages Farsi (fluent speaker) Testimonials Testimonials Selected Testimonials: 'I have been an immigration and public law caseworker and solicitor instructing counsel for 9 years. I have worked with all the major chambers in the field ... with barristers of all level of experience as well as a number of QCs. It is no exaggeration to say Annahita ranks as one of the very best barristers I have worked with. ... Annahita is one of my go to barristers. She possesses the rare mixture of being incredibly friendly and supportive to her clients, while being a tenacious and fearless advocate in the court room. Her knowledge of the law is exemplary and she is always thoroughly prepared. An exceptional barrister. ... She has won each of the cases I have given her and two of them in particular were very tricky. She provides very comprehensive and thoughtful attendance notes.' - Adam Spray, Solicitor 'Annahita is a barrister of the highest calibre who will fight for her clients. She expresses empathy and good legal understanding of the issues before her, ensuring a thorough approach to her work and the legal issues that she is dealing with. I highly recommend Annahita as a human rights barrister who will always do her utmost to defend her clients’ best interests and to succeed with their cases.' - Pierre Makhlouf, Assistant Director 'Thank you for your most able defence of the application [and] your outstanding advocacy.’ - Director observing hearing 'Annahita provided a high quality client-centric management of my father's legal case. She demonstrated a degree of empathy towards my father that was even beyond that of my many medical colleagues. She communicated with my father in an easily understandable manner, from which he was able to make informed decisions. Additionally, in the short space of time she spent with my father she developed a rapport that allowed for a trusting client-barrister relationship (this is impressive as generally my father is not a trusting person). Finally, she managed my father's case with a degree of tenacity and passion that was wonderful to observe.' - Lay client's relative 'I have just had a call from [client]. He stated that they were very pleased with your representation. He said that you were professional throughout, did not raise their expectations, were excellent and that they could not fault you at all.' - Lay client via Kesar & Co Solicitors 'Annahita ... conducted herself with the utmost professionalism and confidence. Her manner and in particular her empathy were a great comfort... ' - Lay client 'I would also like to personally thank you for the extra time and attention which you spent on this matter.' - Alison Ashworth, Managing Director 'Great job and well done for persuading the judge after his initial view. ... Well done for getting an excellent result.' - Jason Smith, Legal Executive '[S]he has been extremely competent and tenacious in court, winning great outcomes for my clients.' - Tom Nunn, Solicitor 'Thank you very much for ... covering matter at short notice and excellent outcome. Clearly you worked exceptionally hard' - Teagy Singh Grover, Head of Crime 'Fabulous result! The client must have been very happy and relieved. Thank you for achieving such an excellent outcome.' - Thomas Cheam, Solicitor 'We have just spoken to client and they were very impressed with the way you fought his case.' - Lay client via MTG Solicitors 'I got a call from [client]. She asked me to thank you again for your fantastic work, as you, in her words, were amazing.' - Lay client via Bail for Immigration Detainees 'Really tricky cases so this is a fantastic result. We have spoken to [clients] who asked me to pass on their thanks, they said you were great.' - Lay client via Bail for Immigration Detainees Notable Cases Notable Cases CRIMINAL DEFENCE Crown Court results include: R v W - Snaresbrook Crown Court - Sentence - G plea: Dangerous Driving. Committed during police chase whilst on a Community Order (CO) and disqualified from driving. Caused two accidents damaging two cars containing passengers. Sped through red lights on a major road. Recent relevant convictions. Secured Suspended Sentence Order (SSO) with sole requirement. R v N - Wood Green Crown Court - Sentence following deferral - G pleas: Harassment and Breach of a Restraining Order (RO). Crown alleged client harassed Complainant during deferment period and served supporting evidence. Successfully argued against the Detective Constable and Complainant in attendance giving evidence. Successfully argued the Crown failed to prove the new allegation. Crown applied to make changes to the existing RO unfavourable to the client. Successfully argued against any amendment to the RO; despite pleading Guilty to breaching it, having recent convictions for breaching ROs, and the Judge's comments that client was "ghastly" with an "inability to behave sensibly and in a civilised fashion" with "truly disgusting", "horrible, repeated conduct" towards the Complainant resulting in a "persistent and serious breach" of the RO. Client received a SSO for the original offences. R v G - Isleworth Crown Court - Sentence - G plea: Long breach of SSO shortly after imposition. Sentencing judge, who imposed the original SSO, indicated the SSO would be activated, later commenting they had "no intention to let [the] Order continue". Successfully argued activation would be unjust and against the addition of further hours of unpaid work. R v S - Snaresbrook Crown Court - Sentence - G plea: Breach of SSO shortly after imposition. Judge indicated activation of SSO based on unacceptable behaviour. Successfully argued activation would be unjust. R v D - Isleworth Crown Court - Sentence - G plea: Benefit Fraud x 4. Client fraudulently obtained over £23450. Client failed to declare they owned a London property which they sold, their purchase of a new London property, and their savings between £37800 to almost £48000 over the claiming period. Secured a SSO of six months requiring 80 hours of unpaid work and a two-month curfew. Magistrates' Court results include: R v N - Stratford Magistrates' Court - Trial: Theft. Damning CCTV evidence showing client take items the Crown alleged were stolen. Items identical to those the Crown alleged were stolen were located in client's desk drawer. Six Crown witnesses gave evidence. Successfully opposed application to use client's previous conviction for fraud as bad character evidence. Acquitted. R v N - Uxbridge Magistrates' Court - Trial: Harassment. Damning evidence. Following contested disclosure arguments, the prosecution was stopped. Crown applied for a RO. Complainant gave evidence that client chased her child with a machete and kept going to her house. Client had a previous conviction for assaulting the same Complainant. Following cross-examination of Complainant and closing submissions, post-acquittal RO application was refused. R v G - Stratford Magistrates' Court - Trial: Racially Aggravated Harassment. Damning video and audio evidence. Following contested disclosure arguments, the prosecution was stopped. R v A - Stratford Magistrates' Court - Trial: Taking Vehicle Without Consent. Damning video evidence showing client driving the car. Following contested disclosure arguments, the prosecution was stopped. R v K - Bromley MC - Trial: Driving Without Insurance. Offence was made out. Made public interest representations, resulting in the prosecution being stopped. R v H & M - Ealing Magistrates' Court - Sentence - G plea: Causing Unnecessary Suffering to dog over five months. Highly aggravated. Graphic photographs of the dog relied on by the Crown made court staff and the District Judge gasp. Inspector's evidence was that the dog's paw looked like it 'had been minced'. Veterinary reports concluded animal's suffering, evidenced by 'severely swollen' and 'clearly visible open wounds ... [and a] foul smell of infected ... tissue', was slow and excruciatingly painful. Suffering resulted in euthanasia. Secured SSO with sole condition for both clients. R v C - Chelmsford MC - Sentence - G plea: Actual Bodily Harm. Fractured security guard's nose in group attack. Complainant due for surgery as a result of injuries. Bench initially stated this passed the custody threshold. Secured CO with one condition. R v C - Barkingside Magistrates' Court - Sentence - G plea: Third Driving Whilst Disqualified. Five convictions for eight other driving offences. Seven convictions for breaching SSO and CO. Secured a SSO. R v W - Southend Magistrates' Court - Sentence - G plea: Harassment. Highly aggravated: prolonged period, committed on police bail, child involved, Complainant in refuge as a result. Probation concluded a CO would be unworkable due to previous non-compliance. Long history of breaching CO and SSO. Secured low-level CO with one condition. R v G - Stevenage Magistrates' Court - Sentence - G plea on day of trial: Aggravated Taking Vehicle Without Consent. Client forced elderly stranger out of her car in a hospital car park. Drove off and crashed, causing damage to the car. Left car in the middle of a roundabout. Secured SSO of 10 weeks. R v F - Stevenage Magistrates' Court - Sentence - G plea: Criminal Damage. Entered fashion shop drunk, took clothes for sale into changing rooms and ripped them up. Secured Conditional Discharge. IMMIGRATION Results include: S v Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD): Home Office granted client Leave to Remain following service of Judicial Review grounds challenging delay in determination. Applicant's costs awarded (detailed assessment). Bail applications Successful immigration bail applications including for appeal rights exhausted individuals with extant Deportation Orders (DO), individual with further conviction following re-entry in breach of a DO, and those with previous convictions including sexual offences, and histories of absconding and non-compliance with court orders. Advised Family Court on immigration matters via a neutral Opinion.