Khadijeh Moghaddam Summoned by Security Police

Wednesday 23 January 2008

Change for Equality: Khadijeh Moghaddam a woman’s rights activist and member of the One Million Signatures Campaign was summoned by the Gisha Station Security Police on the 13th of January, 2008. Ms. Moghaddam explained the incident as follows: "some of my friends and colleagues in the One Million Signatures Campaign had intended to pay me a visit to show their respects in relation to the recent passing of my mother-in-law. Of course the arrest of Maryam Hosseinkhah and Jelve Javaheri had postponed this visit for some time. But they were scheduled to come to my home on the 13th of January. At around 3:00pm I started receiving calls from the Security Police at Gisha Station. The Security Police informed me that I don’t have the right to host a gathering in my own home. I asked if it was a crime for my friends to visit me and to offer their condolences. The Security Police explained that yes it was illegal and that I needed a permit to host people in my home. I explained that many women in this city hold meetings in their home. For example, my mother regularly hosts her prayer groups in her home. They explained that she too needs to obtain a permit to do so."

"In short, I did not agree to go to the police station. They said that they would issue a summons forcing me to appear. About a half hour later, I received the summons at my home. The summons called for me to appear at the police station at 4:00pm, meaning less than one hour after I had signed for it. They Security Police also stationed 4 officers at the door of my home, to prevent my guests from entering. After discussing developments with my lawyer, Ms. Ebadi, I decided to go to the Police Station, to inform the Security Police that I planned to lodge a complaint against them objecting to their illegal actions. I want to know what law allows them to send me a summons for hosting a gathering in my home."

In relation to this case, Ms. Ebadi, the lawyer representing Khadijeh Moghaddam, claims that: "the actions of the Security Police in preventing a gathering in the home of my client and the subsequent issuance of a summons were completely illegal. We need to call them on the illegal nature of their actions when and where possible."

Khadijeh Moghaddam went to the Gisha Security Police Station at 4:00pm that afternoon. Some members of the Mothers Committee of the Campaign, and other guests accompanied her to the station. After 2 hours Khadijeh returned to explain that: "I was interrogated for two hours. They asked me about the Campaign and claimed that the Campaign was illegal. I asked them to show me proof that the Campaign is acting illegally, but they did not have any response for me. So I told them that it is apparent that the Campaign is indeed legal and in fact it is your actions which are illegal. I told them that I will lodge a complaint against them. I truly intend to lodge a formal complaint against the Security Police. We are objecting to laws, which we feel are unjust. But laws that do exist are not implemented properly. And security officials on their own accord take steps that disrupt the security of citizens."

Moghaddam continued by explaining that: "they told me that I had to provide a written statement agreeing to appear at the Security Police if I received another summons. I explained to them that according to law, only summons issued by the courts are legal and I would comply with a court summons only. I explained further that the Security Police is not authorized to issue summons, and is only authorized to issue summons under marshal law. Are we under marshal law, I asked? Anyhow, I did not provide them with the commitment to show up anytime they summoned me, but they did manage to prevent our gathering from taking place."


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