Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) Reza Khandan, husband of imprisoned lawyer and activist Nasrin Sotoudeh, had continued to speak out in defense of the causes championed by his wife. Today, September 4, 2018, he joins her in Evin Prison.
“Gathering and collusion against national security,” “Propaganda against the regime,” and “Promoting the removal of Hijab in society” are the accusations leveled at Khandan, who was arrested in his home by security forces earlier today before being charged in Branch 7 of the Evin Prosecutor’s Interrogation office. His bail has been set at 7 billion rials (approximately $53,000 USD).
Khandan’s arrest follows a court summons he received by phone, and disregarded, one day prior. He published a note detailing the incident:
“Someone called me on my cell today, saying they were from the Intelligence Ministry and saying I had to go there. No person or organization, other than judicial authorities, has the right to prosecute people, and even then, it has to be in writing,” Khandan said.
Khandan said that when he pointed out that the summons was illegitimate, the caller replied that Khandan would be arrested for non-compliance.
In a brief interview, Khandan’s lawyer Mohammad Moghimi enumerated pieces of evidence that authorities are using to build their case against his client, none of which he says can lawfully substantiate the charges: Khandan’s participation in a sit-in organized by his wife in front of the Iranian Bar Association office, his interviews with foreign media outlets, and pin-back buttons that were seized at his home.
On August 18, 2018, in a raid on Khandan’s home, security forces confiscated pin-back buttons reading “I am against forced veiling,” along with letters that Sotoudeh had written to him from prison. The same day, security forces proceeded to search the homes of Mohammadreza (Davoud) Farhadpour, Jila Karamzadeh Makvandi, and Khandan’s sister, whose name has yet to be confirmed by HRANA.
The day before Khandan’s arrest, the Ministry of Intelligence brought in Farhadpour and Makvandi for interrogation. They were subsequently transferred to Evin Court and charged in Branch 7 of the Prosecutor’s Office.
Farhadpour published a note confirming the news of his arrest and added that he crossed paths with civil rights activist Farhad Meysami while walking the corridors of Evin Court. Meysami was previously arrested in his home library on July 31, 2018, and has been on hunger strike since August 1st.