Friday, April 3, 2009

Rejecting freedom of two woman activists arrested for New Year visits

On 26 March 2009, many families of political prisoners who were visiting their loved ones in prisons were arrested. Later ten of the arrested were released.

Ms. Khadijeh Moghadam and Mahboobeh Karami are still in custody of the security forces.

Nasrin Sotoudeh, attorney to one of those still in custody has explained that the Court has ordered Mrs. Moghadams' detention because she has had previous detention records. Accordingly they have announced Mrs. Moghadams' role in the families visiting their beloved ones for the New Year as pivotal and for this reason have prevented her release.

"My client in a telephone contact said she has been charged for "disturbing public order and congregating to create insecurity in public in favor of "strangers". The term "strangers" is absolutely illegal to be used for my clients" said Mrs. Sotoudeh.

Mrs. Sotoudeh reiterates: "According to article 27 of the Iranian Constitution, congregating is lawful; therefore even if our clients did try to congregate, they would not have underestimated the law. The fact is that; they were waiting in their cars for their friends to arrive, when they were surrounded by agents and arrested with no Court Order under the pretext that "they are under suspicion". They were therefore forced to accompany the agents to the police station. Therefore as is clear there was no "congregation".

Mr. Poor Babaii, attorney to Mahboobeh Karami has announced concern for his client explaining that her release under bail (Right of all individuals arrested under suspicion) has been rejected two times.

He declared his client innocent saying that it is not a crime to see relatives on the New Year! There fore her place is not in prison and that she should be encouraged for attaining to ancient customs with regards to the New Year.

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