Mehraveh and Reza Khandan

Mehraveh and Reza Khandan

A security court in Tehran has ruled to ban foreign travel for human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh’s husband, Reza Khandan, and her daughter, Mehraveh Khandan, 13. Reza and Mehraveh Khandan each received a ruling and summons notice from Branch Two of Tehran’s Shahid Moghaddas Court, located next to Evin Prison, which is dedicated to handling security cases.

The court has informed the two family members of Nasrin Sotoudeh that they have been banned from foreign travel, and has summoned them to appear in court if they have an objection to the ruling. It is not clear why Mehraveh Khandan, as a minor child of a political prisoner, has faced such a ban. This is the first time such orders have been issued to a political prisoner’s child.

The summons form is dated 20 June, 2012, and the deadline for objecting to the ruling is stated to be 20 days after that date.

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran regrets witnessing a new round of pressure on the families of prisoners of conscience in Iran, and recognizes the travel ban for Reza Khandan and his young daughter as another measure of psychological pressure on political prisoners. The ruling does not indicate any reasons for the travel ban ruling.

Reza Khandan told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that receiving such a ruling was totally unexpected. “We didn’t expect it, and we hadn’t planned any trips. I believe this was done with the objective of destroying the psychological and mental balance of our family and for inflicting shock to all the family members,” Khandan told the Campaign. “Mehraveh is under 13, and if she has committed a crime, the political and security court is not qualified to review it, because they can’t just ban someone’s travel like this. First, they should state her charges, and then they should pursue her legally and through the Judiciary, and after that, a travel ban ruling may be issued for her while the charges leveled against her are reviewed, charges which are as yet unknown to us,” he added.

“My 12.5-year-old daughter has been Issued a travel ban ruling and a summons [to Shahid Moghaddas Security Court], but [according to the law,] charges for children and minors must be reviewed in juvenile courts,” said Reza Khandan.

Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent human rights lawyer, was arrested on 21 September 2010, and on 8 January 2011, she was sentenced to 11 years in prison, 20 years’ ban on her legal practice, and 20 years ban on foreign travel on charges of “acting against national security,” “collusion and propagation against the Islamic Republic,” and “membership in the Defenders of Human Rights Center.” Her sentence was subsequently lowered to six years imprisonment by the appeals court, while her ban on legal practice and foreign travel remained.*

*An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the appeals court upheld Sotoudeh’s lower court sentence in its entirety.