Two Opposition Leaders Under House Arrest Without Summons or Charges
The house arrest of prominent opposition figures Mir Hossein Moussavi and Mehdi Karroubi, after members of parliament called for their execution and judicial authorities have not indicted or summoned them to appear in court, is another declining step for the Islamic Republic of Iran’s judiciary. Over the past two years, the Iranian Judiciary has been losing its independence, especially after the appointment of Sadeq Larijani as the the Head of the Judiciary. Larijani has effectively left the judicial process to intelligence forces.
According to Saham News, Mehdi Karroubi’s affiliated website, on the evening of Tuesday, 22 February, security forces attacked the home of Karroubi, confiscated books and documents, and all the locks in the house were replaced.
During the last few days, a video clip surfaced that shows Mir Hossein Moussavi’s home cordoned off behind iron bars. Security forces, after surveilling Karroubi’s house for two weeks and blocking the alleyway leading to Moussavi’s home with large police vans, have imprisoned Moussavi and his wife, Zahra Rahnavard, with the installation of iron bars.
Mehdi Karroubi’s younger son, Ali Karroubi, and his wife, Nafiseh Panahi, were arrested during the raid. Panahi was released a few hours later. Security forces have also been looking to arrest Mehdi Karroubi’s older son, Hossein Karroubi. A few days ago, after breaking the door and illegally entering Ali Karroubi’s home, security forces searched the entire house, occupying it for several hours, but were unable to locate or arrest him.
Yesterday, according to opposition websites, a large group of plainclothes agents gathered in front of Karroubi’s home, and threw an acoustic grenade into his building and broke windows while chanting slogans against him. They also read aloud a statement and announced that they were waiting for a final command from Iran’s [Supreme] Leader for the “beheading of Karroubi and his wife.” All of these events occurred with the support of security forces and police, who just a few days earlier, had responded with violence against peaceful public gatherings.
On the other hand, it was reported this week that a number of clergymen have been calling for Mehdi Karroubi to be defrocked. In an interview on Tuesday with the Young Journalists Club (affiliated with Iran’s state radio and television), Taghi Rahbar, Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s Clerics Fraction announced that Karroubi’s defrocking is on the agenda of the Special Court for Clerics.
The Chairman of the Parliament’s Clerics Fraction announced the news that one day after the 14 February march, the Parliament members demanded the execution of Karroubi, Moussavi, and Khatami during a public session. “Karroubi is not worthy of being robed in a clergyman’s cloak. During the past few years, Karroubi has disrespectfully stood against the system and the Revolution, and defrocking him is a lot less significant than the offense he has committed so far,” said Taghi Rahbar.