Q&A: "I Feared I Could Be Killed in the Mayhem"
Inter Press Service / Omid Memarian

IPS: Regarding such attacks, normally Iranian authorities state that they have no information about the organisers and that these are spontaneous actions on the part of individuals. SE: I don't view this incident at all like that. They didn't come to my home one by one. They had their slogans written on their placards, moving in a group. They had been given my address by someone, leading them to my home. The Iranian police continually claim any assembly and demonstration must receive special government permits. This is why when students or women activists congregate to protest discriminatory laws, or when workers gather to protest their low income, police show up immediately to disperse them quickly, arresting some. That day I saw myself how cool and indifferent the police were, standing to the side, only observing my home being vandalised. In fact, I have a legal question now. Do assemblies and protests require permits or not? If this group had been issued a permit, I would like to know which authority issued the permit for them to vandalise the sign to my law practice outside my home. If they didn't have a permit, why didn't the police intervene to arrest them or to issue a warning or to disperse the crowd?

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