Daughters and sons of opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have written letters regarding the inhuman and illegal house arrests of their parents and the increasing concerns about their well-beings.
Opposition leaders and their wives are under house arrest
Full English translation of the letter by daughters of Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard is as follows:
In the name of justice,
We saw our mother and father for the last time two weeks ago. We were sitting together and though the customary delight of being together had been corroded by the years of pain and sorrow, we nevertheless felt the love of our parents so deeply that it would have been hard to believe that only three days later we would be denied of their love.
We heard my mother's voice by phone for the last time on the afternoon of February 14th, 2011 [25 Bahman 1389]. A van was blocking the entrance to Akhtar street. We assumed that it would be temporary. It never occurred to us that we would have to stand behind a gate for 13 days longing to hear their voices or find out if they are alive and well. Instead we faced a gate that never opened and lights that never turned on....
We went to visit with them last week. The van was parked so as to make it impossible for anything or anyone to enter the street. The entrance was completely blocked. The men coming out of the van were wearing masks and chewing gum. When we inquired as to what judicial indictment deprived children of the right to see their parents they insolently responded: "It is none of your business if we have a judgment, who ordered the judgment and where it came from." We asked them how many individuals were in the van and they once again responded: "It is none of your business." We asked why the windows of the van were tinted and yet again the same response: "It is none of your business."
Was it really our business where our parents were? In a period of 72 hours, we had turned into strangers leaning on a van. Afternoon arrived as the men in masks watched us. They stared at us defiantly without answering any questions. When darkness approached the lights did not turn on. The house only became darker, with no sign of life, complete silence, not even a garbage bag at the door step of the residence.
They had even dismissed the bodyguards. We left, a few men following us from the beginning of Akhtar, to Farvardin and Pasteur street . They were so close to us that they probably heard our voices.
The next night was returned. This time they stopped us from entering at the entrance of Khorshid street. Their response to our statement that every worried child has a right to inquire about their parents was either silence or insolence.
It was raining on Pasteur street, the only light emanating from the electric welding machine that was welding a dark, iron barrier as dark as our days, at the entrance to Akhtar street. We walked on the opposite sidewalk to get a glimpse of what was going on, but were stopped by two men. They insulted us. They told us "you attacked for over a year and now it is our turn." The men were once again masked. In addition to the van, they were welding a large iron gate, worse than the iron barrier at the entrance of the street.
They told us that our parents deserved this, but we weren't interested in having political discussions. We were only there as concerned children. They told us that they were glad they killed people this past year. "We killed them because they were worthless", they said. As we heard their statements the faces of Neda, Sohrab and Mohsen and so many others faces of our beloved colleagues smeared with blood appeared in front of our eyes. We kept hearing the moans of morning mothers. Who was this person who claimed that those he killed were worthless? He said: "Allah said even your cries are lies." He went on and on and showed us his weapon and asked us to leave. When we insisted on a reason he replied: "We will call in the security forces and have you all removed by force." It felt as though the bare trees in that long street were shouting "What are they guilty of? " They shouted that the girls of the land of water and fire have been taught by their parents to never fear.
The kids were impatient. The two year old wanted to run the short distance between Khorshid and Akhtar street as customary, shouting out his grandfather's name, awaiting his innocent smile and warm, kind embrace. The seven year old stood in a corner crying, his eyes filled with nostalgia. Their cameras were taking constant pictures of this scene, as though even our children were included in the list of enemies to be taken to their offices to be threatened some day.
There was no sign of lights in the house, no sign of life to give us hope that our mother and father were still there. Although unjustly under house arrest... speaking of justice.... these days are so difficult to bear.
We informed the agents who stopped us from entering the street that all we wanted was to walk to the end of the street. They replied: "What is the point of seeing the end of the street? Seeing the street is meaningless." We insisted that Akhtar street is where our parents live, where we live. This street symbolizes our mother's tireless steps exhausted with pain; it is a street that belongs to a father whose heart beats for the children of Iran. To us this street symbolizes all that is secure and safe. It is heaven. It smells like God. It smells of the Jasmine flowers next to our father's prayer rug. It represents our common pain...
That bitter and dark night finally passed... At that moment, we didn't even curse them, as God was witness to their behavior. God was witness to their injustice and irrationality. God was witness to our anxious and beating hearts. God was witness to the restlessness of our young children in the cold, winter night.
For two nights, our hands tied, not knowing who to turn to, we headed towards Pasteur street at midnight. They had installed a massive, black gate at the entrance of the street. There was a small compartment that was closed and locked from the outside. From a corner we could see three cars parked inside the street. After knocking on the door for a long period of time a man wearing a mask asked us what we wanted. All we wanted was news about our parents, a sign that they were still in their house, that they were in good health. We wanted to know if they were being fed and whether the food they were receiving was safe; but all we were left with were years of bitter experiences and a series of disturbing events.
They didn't provide us with a response. They once again threatened to call the police to remove us from the area. They insulted and remained silent. We demanded: "Would you be behaving this way if they were your own parents? What have they done, except to fight for justice? Must they be responded to with insolence and disrespect? Is this the response to our father's tireless efforts during the 8 year war he fought during his youth. Is this what we call compassion for a middle aged and aging man? Life is so cruel and forgetful! Our parents are one of many mothers and fathers who have long demanded their rights only to be responded to in such a cowardly fashion. The bullets and whips tell the full and controversial story of our pain and sorrow.
We went to Pasteur street once again with the hope to find out about our mother and father's well being. This time they had even covered the small holes in the iron gate with a metal sheet. This time they didn't even allow us to enter the street. They told us that they have orders to make sure that Mousavi's family does not enter Pasteur street. Is this justice? Justice... such an meek word... even more oppressed that the mourning families of our martyrs and the concerned hearts of the families of those unjustly imprisoned.
After insisting we finally entered the street and looked into the street through the half centimeter opening. They had installed a large iron door behind the first black gate. What was all this fear and conspiracy all about? Why so many iron gates and locks? Who did these masked men get their orders from? Who gave them permission to hide our mother and father behind these dark iron doors? What have they done with the sunshine of our lives? Had the security officers whose identity was unknown settled into our father's small office? Had they seized his office? Had they taken over his house? Why were they denying their children, grandchildren and grooms the right to meet with them or obtain any news about their well being?
They had no judicial warrant. There was no transparency. They had no respect, not that we expected those who put our parents under house arrest to respect us. Our parents were denied the basic rights of every citizen, to ensure their well being and provide transparency regarding their meals and medication. They didn't even have the courage to inform us where they get their orders from. They didn't have the courage to remove their masks to face the children of the two innocents they have put under house arrest. There was a time when we considered Pasteur and Akhtar street our primary home, filled with simplicity, kindness, tranquility and respect. About 1100 meters long, it was hardly a castle, but a lovable old home filled with flowers and trees planted by a father who was a poet and painter at heart; a house in which my father's Quran was placed on his prayer rug filled with the perfume of Kaaba; a house filled with my mother's love, passion and hustle and bustle. Today Pasteur and Akhtar street have been enclosed behind iron barriers and no one is aware of what is going on behind these illegal barriers.
We are fully aware that our mother and father were not tried in a competent court. We are fully aware that our parents have committed no crime. We know that the fact that they have installed two large metal gates at the entrance to their street is not good news. We also know that when the lights don't turn on it is also not good news.
It has been two weeks since we last saw our parents. During this time we have heard nothing but insults and profanities. We have faced cold and heartless gazes, not sure who to turn to and if anyone hears our cries...
We are only sure of one thing, that God is our innocent companion.
Daughters of Mousavi & Rahnavard
Thursday February 24th, 2011
with special thanks to Banooye Sabz for translation
Full English translation of the letter by Mehdi Karroubi's sons is as follows:
In the name of God
[Prophet Mohammad said:] A government can survive without believing in God but cannot survive with injustice
Senior officials of the establishment:
As you know since 14 days ago the residence of our honourable parents has been barricaded by security forces and as such all means of communication of the family members to inquire about their health status has been severed. Earlier we were informed of their wellbeing through the members of Revolutionary Guards stationed in their home and we knew that their daily shopping was being done by our mother's driver, which after passing through security gate was handed to them. However, after the attack and then stationing of the security personnel in the home, there has been no news about their situation. All affairs including providing food are being done by the security forces. Children of Mehdi Karroubi, the grandchildren of the late Sheykh Ahmad (the father of Mehdi Karroubi), are very well acquainted with the culture of fighting with and opposing injustice, and after the revolution side by side the people, with no expectations, fought at the frontlines of the war to defend the sovereignty of this country. In his last message, our father boldly stated that he will remain with the people until his last drop of blood and demanded the government to have an open court hearing for him so that regardless of the sentencing, the people, the true and everlasting inheritors of this land, judge who has served or betrayed this country, the establishment and the revolution. Since 1962 until 1978, our father experienced prison and exile nine times, and our mother, the strong and patience companion, has been and is his eternal friend. Mehdi Karroubi's first and second children clearly remember the attack of SAVAK's agents (Shah's security and intelligence agency) at 10 pm to the house located on Hekmat street in Shemiran (Northern Tehran) in 1973, in which [the agents] in response to the mother's anger for their immediate entrance to the back yard of the house, asked our father to calm her down, without any insult or rudeness. [But] Now, in the system that they are its senior members, we hear that in following orders from the officials, after entering the home, the security agents treated our mother inhumanely when she objected to their way of searching.
At God's decision, fighting against injustice has been an old practice of this family, therefore we have no fear paying its price but the government's denial of shouldering its consequences is unacceptable. Who exists that has had a role in the Islamic revolution and does not know what pains Sheykh Ahmad and his son, Mehdi, suffered in this path? We have no fear of paying a price in future either but it is necessary that the government's senior officials explain that firstly what is the legal base of the house arrest; and secondly has there been a judiciary ruling; and if so, who has issued it? What is the extent or limitation of this house arrest? Has a legally suited official issued this sentence or it has been based on magisterial order? If it is the case, which members of the family who are not in prison are included?
While we warn about the wellbeing of our father and mother, we demand that country's senior officials announce the extent of this invented sentence.
Our brother Ali, the third son in the family, was arrested last year and in a mosque, this [supposedly] safe divine house, was severely tortured. This time, concurrently with the attack of agents to the father's home and to be used as a hostage in order for them to put pressure on our father, he was arrested again along with his respected wife, Ms. Panahi, who is the sister of three martyrs and real Basiji, and was interrogated for hours. The alleged accusation against him that was announced by the websites affiliated with security agencies (spying for the Arabic governments in Persian Gulf) is so ridiculous and laughable that we don't think any sane person, even in the camp of the present government, be able to accept that. It is suitable that instead of trying worn out scenarios in order to not see the society's reality, a little attention be paid to the voice and say of the people, these real inheritors of the country.
Mohammad Hossein, Mohammad Taghi, and Yaser Karroubi
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