Friday, February 15, 2013

Six human rights groups demand release from house arrest of Iranian opposition leaders

The Iranian authorities should immediately release from house arrest two former presidential candidates Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, and his wife, Zahra Rahnavard, an author and political activist, the Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi and six leading human rights groups said today. The authorities should also stop harassing or detaining without cause the couple’s two daughters and Karroubi’s son.The appeal was co-signed by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, International Federation for Human Rights, League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran, and Reporters Without Borders.
Mir Hossein Mousavi (left) and Mehdi Karroubi
Karroubi and Moussavi, Rahnavard, and Karroubi’s wife, Fatemeh, were placed under house arrest on February 14, 2011, after the two former presidential candidates called for demonstrations to support the popular Arab uprisings across the region. Fatemeh Karroubi has since been released.
Zahra and Narges Mousavi, daughters of Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard, and Mohammad Hossein Karroubi, son of Mehdi Karroubi were arrested on February 11, 2013, two days before the second anniversary of the arbitrary house arrests of their parents. They were released later that same day.

Mousavi, former Prime Minister, and Karroubi, former Speaker of Iran’s parliament, took part in the 2009 presidential election in which the incumbent president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was declared the winner, amidst evidence of fraud. The announcement of his victory set off huge protests in Tehran and other cities, which were violently suppressed, followed by arrests and show trials of journalists, government critics, and opposition activists. After the election, the authorities also closed the newspapers of Karroubi and Mousavi, Etemad-e Melli and Kalameyeh Sabz.

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