On Wednesday April 29, 2009 Security forces prevented the meeting of the members of the Committee to Defend Free, Healthy and Fair Elections. This meeting was scheduled to be held in the “Raad” Legal Institute, belonging to Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, member of the High Oversight Council of the Defenders of Human Rights Center.
The Committee to Defend Free, Healthy and Fair Elections, which was set up in August 2007 at the suggestion of the Defenders of Human Rights Center, by a group of social and political activists, as the first national collaborative program of this NGO.
The meetings of this Committee had taken place in the offices of the Defenders of Human Rights in the past, but since the closure of the DHRC’s offices in December 2008, the Committee’s meetings were being held in the “Raad” LegalIinstitute.
On Wednesday 29th of April, 2009 security forces entered the offices of “Raad” Legal Institute in the early morning and prior to the start of the meeting at 9:00AM and prevented the members of the Committee from entering the premises. Security forces announced that no meetings should be held in these offices from this point forward.
According to the Site of the Defenders of Human Rights Center, on the 19th of April and on the verge of the tenth round of presidential elections, the Committee to Defend Free, Healthy and Fair Elections, issued an analytical statement which elucidates the current circumstances in which the upcoming elections will be held, adding that observation by civil society institutions can serve as an assurance toward the holding of free, healthy and fair elections. The statement issued by the Committee to Defend Free, Healthy and Fair Elections, contends that the absence of a free press, and the limitations placed on the activities of political parties and non-governmental organizations, oversight of the upcoming presidential elections provided by national and international civil society institutions provides a legal strategy for ensuring that the upcoming elections are indeed free, healthy and fair.
Unfortunately a day prior to the publication of this statement, Mehdi Mo’tamedi Mehr, a member of the Committee to Defend Fair, Healthy and Fair Elections and a nationalist political activist was arrested.
Read the statement issued by the Committee to Defend Free, Healthy and Fair Elections titled: Civil Society Institution as Election Observers: An Assurance toward Free, Healthy and Fair Elections