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Author Topic:   Challenging the Majles, Judiciary detained briefly Fatemeh Haqiqatjoo, female MP
Vatandoost
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posted March 29, 2001 10:18     Click Here to See the Profile for Vatandoost   Click Here to Email Vatandoost     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
TEHRAN 28th Mar. (IPS) Continuing the harassment of the opponents, Iranian
conservatives took aim Tuesday at the reformist-dominated Majles (parliament) by detaining an outspoken MM (Member of the Majles) for six hours before releasing her on bail.

Mrs. Fatemeh Haqiqatjoo, a reformist deputy, was arrested on the orders of a Tehran Justice Administration presided by Sa’id Mortazavi, a hard line judge who, because of the great number of the press he has shut and
journalists he had sent to jail, is nicknamed as "the butcher of the press", but released after strong intervention from the Majles, the official news agency IRNA reported.

It said the unnamed source that reported the arrest of Mrs. Haqiqatjoo did not elaborate on the charges lodged against her, nor did he comment on the manner of the arrest.

But according to Mr. Behzad Nabavi, the first vice-speaker, before the start of the new Iranian calendar year on March 21, the parliamentary presiding board received a subpoena order from an administrative court for Haqiqatjou, "But" he told IRNA, "the board decided not to notify her since the subpoena order contradicts the parliamentary governing by-law."

"The law holds that no MP could be arrested barely for addressing the MPs before the parliamentary session starts," he noted.
An overwhelming majority of lawmakers, among them vice-speakers Behzad Nabavi, Dr. Mohammad Reza Khatami, the younger brother of the President who leads the Majles largest reformist fraction and Mohsen Armin, the
Secretary of the Organisation of Islamic Republic’s Mojahedeen (OIRM), a leftist pro-reform group, had called on the Speaker Hojjatoleslam Mehdi Karroubi, for an emergency meeting to review the "illegal and
unconstitutional arrest" of Mrs. Haqiqatjou

In the letter, the signatories called on Karroubi to intervene to stop sporadic arrest of MPs, which, they said, is anti-constitutional and contradicts the parliamentary governing by-law. Mrs. Haqiqatjoo was already summoned by a court on charges of inciting public opinion and insulting the judiciary, after, in a fiery speech in the House last month, she openly criticised the leader-controlled Judiciary over the brutal arrest of Mrs. Fariba Davoudi-Mohajer, a journalist affiliated with the Islamist-nationalists by agents sent to
arrest her.

But she had refused to obey, stating that as a parliamentary deputy, she was entitled to immunity from prosecution for remarks made in the Majles, adding that in her opinion any summons issued to her would be a violation
of the constitution. She also expressed her regret that the judiciary, which is tasked with upholding the constitution, would itself be guilty of violating it.

In other speeches that provoked the anger of the regime’s leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenehe'i, Mrs. Haqiqatjou had revealed that Mr. Ali Afshari, a student’s leader who was sentenced to a five-year jail term for
his participation at the now famous Berlin Conference of April 2000, has been made to confess under duress.

In fact, according to conservatives-controlled press, it was on the basis of confessions made in prison by Mr. Afshari that Mr. Ebrahim Sheykh, another student’s leader, was arrested three days ago.

Both Mr. Afshari and Mr. Sheikh members of the Central Council of the Union of Associations of Iranian Students, better known as the Office of Consolidating Unity (OCU), the Iranian students biggest pro-reform organisation.

According to this press, Mr. Afshari has told interrogators that some members of the OCU had moved closer to the Islamist-nationalists and plotting to topple the regime. But observers reminded that Mr. Afshari had been taken alongside Mr. Ezzatollah Sahabi, a veteran politician and journalist, to an undisclosed prison believed to belong to the revolutionary guards intelligence units
specialising in extracting confessions from inmates.

Days before the start of the new Iranian year of 1380 beginning on March 21, the Iranian judiciary, acting on orders from Mr. Khamenehe'i, raided the house of a prominent nationalist-religious affiliated to the Iran Freedom Movement and arrested him with his wife and 20 guests.

In a statement released latter, the Judiciary said the arrested people were plotting against the Islamic Republic and announced a total ban of all activities, under any form and any name, of both the Islamist-nationalists and the IFM.

It also shut four more pro-reform and nationalist-religious publications, bringing to 35 the number of reformist press shut down since a year ago, when Mr. Khamenehe'i denounced the pro-reform press as "bases of the enemy".

The Islamic Iranian Participation Front (IIPF), the biggest Iranian pro-reform grouping condemned the arrest of Mrs. Haqiqatjou and accused the Judiciary of being "embroiled in fuelling political tensions",
according to IRNA.

It said that such setbacks could not stop the reformist MPs from promulgating the realities in the society.

The front also expressed deep concern over the arrest of Mr. Sheykh and the closure of four more publications, accusing the judiciary to seek to "mar the June presidential elections and inculcate disappointment into the minds of the people".

"The courts had acted without any regard for the consequences", the IIPF said, adding, "These actions are aimed at weakening the turnout of the people for the election as well as spreading hopelessness in society".

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Vatandoost
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posted March 29, 2001 10:26     Click Here to See the Profile for Vatandoost   Click Here to Email Vatandoost     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Judge rejects news on arrest of Haqiqatjou

Tehran, March 28, IRNA -- Head of the Branch 1410 of Tehran's Public Court Saeed Mortazavi said here Wednesday that the news on the arrest of MP Fatemeh Haqiqatjou was a sheer lie and she had not at all been arrested.

Mortazavi said in an exclusive interview with IRNA that publication of lies and untrue articles by certain segments of the press on arrest of Mrs. Haqiqatjou had not been out of goodwill.

He said what had made Haqiqatjou and some of her colleagues to exclude themselves of answering to the complaints lodged against them is their personal interpretation of Article 86 of the Constitution.

Mortazavi added that under the article, MPs are free to raise any views and one cannot prosecute or punish them for the opinions they had expressed in line with their responsibilities as MP.

He said that however, no one can claim that insult and accusation is also related to the article. Thus no MP can erroneously judge that she/he is entitled to insult a religiously respected person and remain immune from punishment, he added.

The judge said that basically the Constitution or normal laws have not made anybody immune of committing crimes.

Mortazavi said three different files have been opened at Branch 1410 of Tehran's public court and one of them concerns the complaint lodged by head of Tehran's Islamic Revolution Court.

He said the complainant had claimed that the accused had insulted him at the Majlis.

He added that another complaint raised against Haqiqatjou concerned her address at Kowsar Hall in Qazvin. He said the MP had been accused in the case of insulting the Guardians Council (GC), the Judiciary, the Expediency Council (EC) and spreading rumors to divert public opinion and propagating against the system.

Mortazavi said Haqiqatjou had been summoned per articles 112 to 116 of the laws of the public and revolutionary courts. He added that she had been informed of the summon but since she had not attended the court on due date, the orders for her arrest was issued per Article 116 of the same law.

He added that therefore, what led to issuance of warrant on the Haqiqatjou's arrest was the letter and the illegal action of Behzad Nabavi, the first vice-speaker of the Majlis, in failing to inform Haqiqatjou of the court summon.

He said that he had passed letter objecting a similar action adopted by Nabavi in the case of another MP and tabled down all legal reasons in that connection but unfortunately, Nabavi repeated his illegal action in the
case of Haqiqatjou. He added that Nabavi will face legal prosecution for his action.

Mortazavi said that Mrs. Haqiqatjou had on Tuesday attended the court and was informed of charges raised against her and answer questions raised against her in a session that took more than six hours. He added that the MP had pledged that whenever she is summoned she will attended the court on due time and hence she was released on a bail of rls 50 million.

He said Haqiqatjou and two of her attorneys Mrs. Sajjadi and Mohsen Rahami had asked for one month time for convening the court session in order to prepare defense and the court agreed to the request.

Majlis Vice Speaker Behzad Nabavi on Tuesday reacted defiantly to the arrest of a colleague, Fatemeh Haqiqatjou, dismissing the detention as being against the Constitution.

Nabavi told IRNA that the parliamentary presiding board has started legal proceedings into the case.

He said that before the start of the new Iranian calendar year on March 21, the parliamentary presiding board received an order summoning Haqiqatjou from an administrative court.

"But," he noted, "the presiding board decided not to notify her since the summon since it went against the parliamentary governing by-law."

"The law holds that no MP could be arrested barely for addressing the MPs before the parliamentary session starts," he noted.

Haqiqatjou was arrested on Tuesday upon the orders of Tehran Justice Administration, a reliable source told IRNA.

The unnamed source did not elaborate on the charges lodged against her, nor did he comment on the manner of the arrest.

Earlier this month, Haqiqatjou was summoned by the administrative court on charges of inciting public opinion and insulting the judiciary.

Last month, Haqiqatjou criticized the Revolutionary Court over alleged maltreatment of a female journalist Fariba Davoudi Mohajer by police officers at the time of her arrest. Davoudi-Mohajer is now free on bail.

The reformist MP said police had resorted to force at the time of the arrest, condemning it as a stark violation of Mohajer's privacy.

The press quoted Haqiqatjou as saying that the police had removed Mohajer's veil from her head and pushed her at her doorsteps in the presence of her children and family during her arrest.

Haqiqatjou's statements drew the ire of several MPs, and one deputy took a rare step of using vitriolic against her.

Haqiqatjou had already turned down a court summon, saying, as a parliamentary deputy, she was entitled to immunity from prosecution for her remarks.

She said that in her opinion any summons issued against her would be a violation of the Constitution. She also expressed her regret that the Judiciary, which is tasked with upholding the Constitution, would itself
be guilty of violating it.

Davoudi, a journalist with the now-banned Khordad daily as well as a pro-reform contender for the sixth parliamentary elections, was arrested last week for yet undeclared reasons.

Haqiqatjou had also noted that student leader Ali Afshari, slapped with a five-year jail term for his part in a Berlin conference on political change in Iran, has been made to confess under duress.

Afshari is among a number of political activists jailed in a conservative crackdown on President Mohammad Khatami's liberal social and political reforms.

On Sunday, Ebrahim Sheikh, another student leader was detained and taken into an unknown location in connection with Afshari's case.

Afshari and Sheikh are among the main members of the biggest pro-reform student group Office to Foster Unity.

Days before the start of the new Iranian calendar year on March 21, the Iranian judiciary banned four reformist publications.

Doran-e Emrouz daily was banned for `repeated violations of press law' and the popular monthly Payam-e Emrouz and two weekly newspapers, Mobin and Jameah Madani, had also been ordered to stop publishing.

The bans bring to more than 35 the number of independent publications closed.

The conservative-dominated courts have closed down some 30 publications, including every major pro-reform daily, in the last Iranian calendar year that ended on March 20.

The same court also slapped a ban on `all activities' of the Freedom Movement of Iran (FMI), the main opposition party which has been generally tolerated despite being formally outlawed in 1988.

The court said that FMI has been in cahoots with the Iraq-based terrorist group of Mujahideen Khalq Organization (MKO) (that seeks to subvert the Islamic government by militarist operations).

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Vatandoost
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posted March 30, 2001 09:45     Click Here to See the Profile for Vatandoost   Click Here to Email Vatandoost     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
MP freed to go to Havana for parliamentary meet

TEHRAN, March 29 (AFP) - An Iranian pro-reform MP briefly arrested earlier this week was cleared to leave Iran Thursday to attend an international meeting of parliamentarians in Cuba, sources said. Fatemeh Haqiqat-Joo left with the rest of the nine-member delegation for Havana, they said.

Haqiqat-Joo was arrested Tuesday and later released. She is facing charges of making false accusations about what she said was the rough way security forces had arrested a reformist journalist.

The arrest unleashed a storm of protest from reformist supporters of President Mohammad Khatami.

Iran's largest pro-reform party, the Islamic Iran Participation Front, led by Khatami's brother, Mohammad-Reza, condemned the arrest as unconstitutional and accused the courts of "fuelling political tensions."

More than 30 newspapers and journals, including every major reformist daily, have been closed by the conservative-led courts over the past year.

Meanwhile, the main opposition party has been effectively closed down, and some 20 of its members arrested along with leading journalists and close political and intellectual allies of the president.

Khatami has yet to announce whether he will seek re-election to a second term when voters go to the polls on June 8.

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