Citing Constitutional Trespass, Abbas Lasani Rejects Court’s Second Summons

Posted on: October 13th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Azerbaijani activist Abbas Lasani’s public dissent with the Iranian judicial system continued this week with his spurning, via open letter, of a second court subpoena that he decries as illegitimate. “I will not abide by the rule of tyranny, and thus I express my protest and rebellion against this illegal process, and against your oppressive conduct unbecoming of a court,” he wrote.

Via SMS on September 24th, Lasani learned he had been convicted in absentia in Branch 2 of Tabriz Revolutionary Court. On October 10th, a writ summoned him to hear the conviction in court within the next ten days.

“My verdict was delivered by a totally illegal and unlawful process that is neither reasonable nor acceptable,” Lasani wrote, explaining that constitutional article 168 stipulates that verdicts in political, press, or conscience cases must be tried in public and in the presence of the media.

HRANA reported September 16th on Lasani’s refusal to respond to an initial summons via text message from the same court. “It’s impossible to ignore that the summons is illegitimate, arriving by text message with no official hard copy,” Lasani said in a public statement.

Abbas Lasani was among a group of four Azerbaijani (Turk) activists residing in Ardebil arrested by Intelligence agents July 2, 2018, a few days before an annual gathering at Babak Fort, a site that has acquired symbolic importance for Azerbaijani rallies in recent years. Prior to his arrest, he had shared a video encouraging people to attend the gathering. He was released on 500 million rials [$3,500 USD] bail July 11, 2018. More than 80 Azerbaijani activists were arrested throughout Ardabil, West Azerbaijan, and East Azerbaijan provinces at the time of the Babak Fort gathering.

Amnesty International issued a statement on August 11th of this year, calling the arrests of Azerbaijani activists “arbitrary” and unlawful, and demanded the immediate release of all individuals detained for their participation in Azerbaijani Turkic cultural gatherings.

Reza Khandan Spurns Second Illegitimate Court Summons

Posted on: October 9th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- In the face of the legal obligation to summon defendants a minimum of one week before their hearings, authorities summoned imprisoned civil rights activist Reza Khandan Friday, October 5th for a hearing in Revolutionary Court Branch 15 the very next day.

Khandan, who is married to imprisoned civil rights activist and lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, said he refused to respond to the unlawful summons. “Almost all prisoners are sent to the court in this manner. Some of them even attend court without a defense lawyer, because they can’t contact one on such a limited time frame.”

In a note yesterday, Khandan’s lawyer Mohammad Moghimi wrote that his client was within his right not to show up, as provisioned in Section 343 of Criminal Procedure Code. “[…] Such a trial is illegitimate,” Moghimi said.

Khandan was arrested by security forces in his home on Tuesday, September 4th after ignoring a September 3rd summons unlawfully issued by phone. He was charged at Branch 7 of the Evin prosecutor’s office and sent to prison the same day.

On September 22, 2018, HRANA reported on the referral of Reza Khandan’s case from Revolutionary Court to Evin Court in order to resolve deficiencies in his case file.

According to HRANA reports, Ministry of Intelligence security forces searched the homes of Mohammadreza (Davoud) Farhadpour, Jila Karamzadeh Makvandi, and Khandan’s sister on Saturday, August 18th. The forces reportedly confiscated pin-back buttons reading “I am against forced veiling” along with letters that Sotoudeh had written to Khandan from prison.