Opposition Leaders’ Children Summoned ahead of Two-Year House Arrest Anniversary
Nearly two years since Iranian opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi, Mir Hossein Mousavi, and Zahra Rahnavard were placed under illegal house arrest in Tehran, Iranian authorities have summoned their children, a source close to the families told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
Earlier today, the daughters of Mousavi and Rahnavard were summoned to the Tehran Prosecutor’s Office “to provide some explanation on some matters,” according to Iran’s semi-official Fars News. The summons came one month after the opposition leaders’ children had issued a statement asking the Iranian government to end their parents’ continued house arrest.
A source close to the families told the Campaign, “The questioning was about the letter that the children wrote on January 7 [requesting their parents’ release]. The government is concerned that the children may issue another statement on the second anniversary of the house arrest, so by summoning and questioning them, they want to put pressure on the families to be silent during this time.”
Karroubi’s son was also arrested early this morning in Tehran and released at 5pm local time, the source told the Campaign. “All his personal items, including cell phone and laptop, DVDs, and other work related items, as well as bank items like credit cards, bank cards, checks, and property deeds, were confiscated and were not returned when he was released,” the source said.
The ongoing opposition leaders’ house arrest began February 15, 2011, after they requested a permit to hold a rally in solidarity with Arab Spring protesters in Egypt. This Friday will mark the two-year anniversary of their detention.
No charges have been brought against any of the detainees, and they have had no trial. On December 25, 2012, Police Chief Esmaeel Ahmadi Moghaddam said that the Supreme Leader had claimed responsibility for Mousavi, Karroubi, and a few others, according to Kayhan newspaper published in Tehran. “At a meeting after the Ashura Day sedition [December 16, 2010], we [the police] told him [the Supreme Leader] that a group of individuals involved in this sedition must be arrested. He said, ‘First collect the facts, then bring them to me and I will give you permission.’ After we collected the facts, we took a list of 40 individuals to him; he said ‘I will take care of these few’” and signaled a group including the opposition leaders, according to Moghaddam as quoted in the Kayhan article. In the same article, in response to a question about the lack of a trial, the police chief was quoted as saying, “Do you think for individuals who caused such a sedition and did what they did, house arrest was sufficient?!”
The illegal detention of the opposition leaders has been condemned by various bodies of the United Nations, including the Secretary General, the General Assembly, several Special Rapporteurs, and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. Most recently, three UN experts issued a statement today urging the Iranian government to release them unconditionally.