Observatory Issues Urgent Appeal in Case of Khadijeh Moghaddam

Sunday 13 April 2008

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint program of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organization Against Torture, has issued an urgent appeal in the case of women’s rights activists and Campaign member, Khadijeh Moghaddam, who was arrested in her home on April 9, 2008. The statement is pasted below:


IRN 003 / 0408 / OBS 051

Arbitrary detention / Judicial proceedings /



April 9, 2008

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Iran.

Brief description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources of the arbitrary arrest of Ms. Khadijeh Moghaddam, a member of the Mother’s Committee of the One Million Signatures Petition Campaign, which seeks to put pressure on the Iranian legislators in order to withdraw provisions that have adverse effects on women’s human rights.

According to the information received, on April, 8, 2008, at about 11:00 am, police officers entered Ms. Moghaddam’s house and arrested her in a despicable way, as the police officers forced their way in her home, refusing to show her their court order. Ms. Maghaddam was then transferred to the Eshrat Abad Security Police Station, where she was interrogated during several hours, and, from there, to the Revolutionary Court, where the Investigative Judge in charge of her case interrogated her.

Ms. Modghaddam was able to receive visits of her friends and family while waiting for the processing of her arrest order and reported that she had been brutally arrested and that she had received poor treatment from the Security Police officers who arrested her in her house. During the hearing in front of the Investigative Judge of the Revolutionary Court, Ms. Modghaddam was accused of hosting meetings in her house and she was asked to identify members of the Campaign, who had participated in gatherings in her home. She was charged with “spreading of propaganda against the State”, “disruption of public opinion” and “actions against national security”. A temporary arrest order was issued against her and the bail for her release was set to 100 million Tomans. As she declared that she was unable to pay such an amount of money, the Investigative Judge answered that she would then be transferred to prison for a week, and would have to provide the names of Campaign members and the bail amount.

Ms. Moghaddam is currently detained at the Vozara Detention Centre.

The Observatory expresses its deep concern about the arbitrary arrest of Ms. Moghaddam and about the ongoing harsh repression of the Iranian authorities against human rights defenders, in particular women’s rights activists involved in the One Million Signatures Campaign, and recalls that more than a hundred of women’s rights activists have been arrested, interrogated, or sentenced in the past two years and that the Government has raised over one million Euros by imprisoning the activists and releasing them on high bail.

The Observatory further wishes to insist on the fact that Iran had committed to “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights” by presenting its candidacy to the Human Rights Council 2006 election and had insisted in this regard on the fact that the country had “continuously put great efforts into safeguarding the status and inherent dignity of the human person as well as the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms”. In order to ensure the continuation of these efforts, the Observatory urges the Islamic Republic of Iran to conform with international human rights standards.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities in Iran urging them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Ms. Khadijeh Moghaddam as well as all activists engaged in the “One Million Signatures” campaign;

ii. Release Ms. Khadijeh Moghaddam immediately and unconditionally since her detention is arbitrary as it merely aims at sanctioning her activities in favour of women’s human rights;

iii. Drop all arbitrary charges against her and all women’s rights defenders involved in the “One million signatures” campaign;

iv. Put an end to all acts of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Iranian human rights defenders;

v. Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, especially its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, Article 6.b, which provides that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others [...] freely to publish, impart or disseminate to others views, information and knowledge on all human rights and fundamental freedoms”, and Article 12.2, which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”;

vi. More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Iran.


* Leader of the Islamic Republic, His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, The Office of the Supreme Leader, Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran, Faxes: + 98.21.649.5880 / 21.774.2228, Email: / /;

* President, His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98.21.649.5880, E-mail:;

* Head of the Judiciary, His Excellency Mr. Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi, Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: +98.21.879.6671 / +98 21 3 311 6567 / +98 21 3 390 4986, Email: /;

* Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Mr. Manuchehr Motaki, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdolmajid Keshk-e Mesri Av, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98.21.390.1999, Email:;

* Director, Human Rights Headquarters of Iran, His Excellency Mohammad Javad Larijani, C/o Office of the Deputy for International Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Justice Building, Panzdah-Khordad (Ark) Square, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98 21 5 537 8827

* Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Chemin du Petit-Saconnex 28, 1209 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 7330203, Email:;

* Ambassador Mr. Ahani, Embassy of Iran in Brussels, avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 15 A. 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 762 39 15. Email:

Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of Iran in your respective country.


Paris - Geneva, April 9, 2008

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need. The Observatory was the winner of the 1998 Human Rights Prize of the French Republic.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:


Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 20 11 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29


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