Thursday, March 3, 2011

Human Rights Watch: Iran should release Moussavi and Karroubi

Mir Hossein Moussavi (left shakes the hand of Mehdi Karroubi. The pciture is from 2009, when both campaigned for the presidency of Iran.

 Authorities should immediately release two prominent opposition leaders and their family members and allow them to engage in peaceful political activity, Human Rights Watch said on 2 March. The government is holding Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, their wives, and one of Karroubi's sons. Authorities recently transferred the two leaders and their wives to another location after restricting their movement and placing them under house arrest for more than two weeks, opposition members said.
The house arrests began after the leaders called for demonstrations in support of protesters in Tunisia and Egypt and to voice displeasure with conditions in Iran. On or around February 24, 2011, after opposition websites called for protests over their house arrest, security forces transferred Mousavi and Karroubi and their wives, Zahra Rahnavard and Fatemeh Karroubi, to Heshmatiyeh prison, a detention facility on a Revolutionary Guard base in Tehran, according to several media reports and an opposition member who spoke to Human Rights Watch. Their detention does not comply with Iranian law, Human Rights Watch said. They have not been told why they were arrested, nor have they been brought before an independent judge and charged with any crimes, a spokesman for Mousavi said.
"The detention of Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi is a crude attempt by Iran's rulers to stifle and silence peaceful political dissent," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

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