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Silencing the Women's Rights Movement in Iran

Witnesses report that any association with the Campaign was considered suspect by the Iranian authorities and liable to subject a person to arrest and interrogation." 280 Members of the Mourning Mothers, whose activism was the simple manifestation of the right to assemble, were met with beatings and arrests for exercising this right." 281

Activists were put under pressure to censor and close their publications. Shiva Nazar Ahari, Parisa Kakaee and their colleagues at the CHRR were tormented by their interrogators for refusing to shut down the CHRR website, and Nazar Ahari remains in prison.282 Shadi Sadr was told that even if she were to write for hard-line state sponsored news outlets, she would be subject to further harassment simply because of who she is. The only option open to her was to cease all expression or face arrest." 283

4.2 Denial of Due Process

The Iranian Constitution and laws provide for a range of due process and other protections of individuals arrested and detained, including the following:

  • Prohibition against arbitrary arrests" 284
  • Requirement that charges be promptly explained to the accused and provision for judicial oversight285
  • Presumption of innocence286
  • Right to counsel287
  • Requirement that families be informed as to the whereabouts and condition of detainees and that they be afforded visits and communications288

The Criminal Code of Procedure (CCP) of Iran requires that even preliminary investigations leading to temporary arrests and detentions of individuals suspected of committing national security crimes be conducted pursuant to orders issued by trial judges and overseen by the Judiciary." 289 Such orders must conform to due process standards.290

[280] See supra note 219 and accompanying text.
[281] See supra notes 222-27 and accompanying text. While both the Iranian Constitution and international law allow for authorities to regulate assembly through a permitting mechanism, the arbitrary denial of permits by the Interior Ministry makes almost all demonstrations and gatherings not sponsored by the state itself illegal by default. See Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, Violent Aftermath: The 2009 Election and Suppression of Dissent in Iran, available at http://iranhrdc.org/httpdocs/English/reports.htm.
[282] See supra notes 158, 160, 188 and accompanying text.
[283] See supra note 237 and accompanying text.
[284] Article 32 of the Constitution states: "No one may be arrested except by the order and in accordance with the procedure laid down by law." Iranian Const. supra note 268, art. 32.
[285] Article 32 of the Constitution states: "In case of arrest, charges with the reasons for accusation must, without delay, be communicated and explained to the accused in writing, and a provisional dossier must be forwarded to the competent judicial authorities within a maximum of twenty-four hours so that the preliminaries to the trial can be completed as swiftly as possible. The violation of this article will be liable to punishment in accordance with the law." Id. art. 32.
[286] Article 37 of the Constitution states: "Innocence is to be presumed, and no one is to be held guilty of a charge unless his or her guilt has been established by a competent court." Id. art. 37.
[287] Article 35 of the Constitution states: "Both parties to a lawsuit have the right in all courts of law to select an attorney, and if they are unable to do so, arrangements must be made to provide them with legal counsel." Id. art. 35.
[288] Article 5 of the Law Respecting Legitimate Freedoms and Protecting Citizen Rights (Citizen Rights Law) states: "…arrest files should be sent to the court with jurisdiction and families of the detained person should be informed." Qanun-i Ihtiram bih Azadihayih Mashru' va Hifz-i Huquq-i Shahrvandi [Law Respecting Legitimate Freedoms and Protecting Citizen Rights] (1383) [2004], available at http://dadkhahi.blogsky.com/?PostId=218(last visited July. 14, 2010) [hereinafter Citizen Rights Law].
[289] Qanun-i A'yin-i Dadrisiyih Dadgahhayih Umumi va Inqilab dar Umur-i Kayfari [Criminal Procedure Code for Public and Revolutionary Courts] (1379) [2001], art. 38 and 42, available at http://hoghoogh.online.fr/article.php3?id_article=67 [hereinafter Criminal Code of Procedure].
[290] The requirement to state the nature and cause of the allegation goes beyond mere statement of the charge. See id. arts. 37-39 (requiring the Judiciary to act based on evidence, conform to the rule of law, and be impartial during the investigation phase); see also id. art. 32 (allowing temporary arrests and detentions of suspects only when circumstantial evidence indicates that a crime has been committed and certain conditions are satisfied).

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Sexual Violence, Gender Rights, Death Penalty, Political Killings, Executions, Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment, Punishment, Personal Liberty, Arbitrary Detention, Travel Restrictions, Due Process, Right to an Attorney, Illegal Search and Seizure, Free Speech, Right to Protest, Protests, Free Association, Child Rights, Political Freedom, Equality Before the Law, Discrimination