Court Hearing for Nahid Keshavarz Rescheduled

Thursday 17 September 2009

Change for Equality: A court hearing in relation to the charges brought against Nahid Keshavaraz, a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign, was held on 30 August 2009. Nasrin Sotoodeh, the lawyer representing Keshavarz had the following to say in this respect:

"I went to court with my client Ms. Nahid Keshavaraz in relation to the charges brought against after her arrest on March 4, 2007, during a peaceful protest in front of the Revolutionary Courts. My client had come to court along with her 40 day old son. The hearing was held in Branch 1049 of the Shahid Ghodosi Courthouse. Unfortunately the judge announced his opinion with respect to the case, at the start of the hearing and prior to having heard our defense, and despite the fact that the hearing did not take place because the prosecutor was not able to be present at the hearing. The judge announced that he does not accept rulings by other courts which have acquitted several of those charged in the same case. He went further to say that given the fact that our judicial system is weak and needs encompassing support, therefore to safeguard the Regime, I will do whatever is required. Keep in mind that the Ministry of Intelligence is the complainant, meaning that is part of the Regime, and the judge prior to having issued a ruling has announced that he will do whatever is necessary to safeguard the complainant. Legal experts know that the independence of the judge requires them to be unbiased, as such judges cannot take sides in political disputes, especially with respect to cases which are brought against citizens by the government. My repeated objections as the lawyer in this case, had no impact on the judge, and the judge wondered why lawyers keep insisting that the law be fully implemented. Still while emphasizing the need for the judge to remain unbiased I asked that the court hearing be rescheduled."

According to Nasrin Sotoodeh the charge against Nahid Keshavarz is disruption of public order, despite the fact that none of those charged in this case acted in a way that would disrupt public order. Nahid Keshavarz was arrested along with 32 other women’s rights activists.


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