I respectfully submit that I, Payam Khushbin, have been confronted with a difficulty that from one perspective has caused a crisis within my family and from another perspective has brought into question the role of justice and equity in this country of ours.
On Saturday, 22 November 2008, Mr. Movahhed, who is the chief of Intelligence in Sari, along with 8 others, came to our home. Though they did not have a search warrant or a court order, they commenced to search our house and soon had it in total disarray. Along the way, they said many insults, abusive words and slurs against us. They even showed the utmost disrespect and contempt towards my wife, Soheila Matlabi, and her sister.
It should be noted that Article 6 of the general Civil Code, published in the official newspaper No. 17249, dated 9 June 2004, states: “In the course of an arrest, search, interrogation or investigation, every form of harassment, such as covering the eyes or tying body parts, mocking or denigration, is prohibited. Search and investigation at the site … must take place in accordance with the provisions of the law and without any imposition and with caution…”
After their search, they seized and took with them many of our personal effects, such as books, pictures, hand-drawn calligraphy, CDs, monographs, etc. They also took my wife and me to the Intelligence Office and during this interval did not hold back from saying any manner of insult or abuse.
It is noteworthy that they could not find any fault or charge against my wife to enable them to could incarcerate her, but instead they were forced to keep her at the police station that night. However, they did not give her any food and kept her in the most frightening and distasteful conditions. It is not even imaginable that they would deal with a born criminal or someone convicted of grievous crimes in such a way as they dealt with my wife, the mother a four-year old child. The fear that they instilled in her caused her to become tongue-tied and to stammer.
In accordance with the Constitution, Article 14, “The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and all Muslims are duty-bound to treat non-Muslims in conformity with ethical norms and the principles of Islamic justice and equity, and to respect their human rights.”
Article 20 states, “All citizens of the country, both men and women, equally enjoy the protection of the law and enjoy all human, political, economic, social, and cultural rights, in conformity with Islamic criteria.”
Article 22 states, “The dignity, life, property, rights, residence, and occupation of the individual are inviolate, except in cases sanctioned by law.”
And finally, Article 23 states, “The investigation of individuals’ beliefs is forbidden, and no one may be molested or taken to task simply for holding a certain belief.”
[On Friday, 5 December 2008, Human Rights Activists of Iran, a group with no association with the Baha’is of Iran or any other country, published the above account in Persian at: http://hrairan.org/Archive_87/1253.html. The same report was reflected in Iran Press News, http://www.iranpressnews.com/source/050598.htm. Translated by Ahang Rabbani.]