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Detained Iranian Opposition Leader Karroubi To Stand His Ground If Released

05/30/11 Source: Mir Hossein Mousavi's facebook

Hossein Karroubi in an interview said: In the last meeting my father had with his grand-children - while under illegal arrest in his own home - he once again stressed “If I am released, I would still issue the very same statements and give the very same interviews I had done before; and I am standing firm on my previous principles and views.”

Mehdi Karroubi

More than 100 days have passed since the illegal house arrest of Mehdi Karroubi and his wife. During this time, in an effort to portray their condition as normal, media outlets affiliated with the ruling government have published contradictory reports regarding their circumstances.

Mehdi Karroubi's eldest son Hossein Karroubi has denied these false reports maintaining that his father was allowed access to fresh air "for the first time" last week when taken to the courtyard of his residential complex in the presence of security agents.

Hossein Karroubi also spoke of the increased pressure on him and his family since the start of his father's illegal house arrest stating: "It has been approximately three months since security agents confiscated and removed my children's academic reports from their school.

Fatemeh Shojai, Jaras reporter, has conducted an interview with Hossein Karroubi regarding the latest update on the circumstances of his parents:

It has been close to 100 days since the illegal house arrest of Mr. Karroubi and his wife. Can you please provide us with an update on the latest condition of your mother and father?

As my mother explained to Saham News during the brief period her house arrest was lifted, the conditions were very difficult prior to the Persian New Year. After the new year however, their conditions slightly improved. For example, they were provided with a television on April 4th, though the programs are not really worth watching. Mr. Karroubi only seriously follows a program by the name of "Mokhtar Nameh", or watches some of the news programs on "Seda va Sima" [the national television station Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting IRIB]. A few days ago security agents also provided my mother with a few books recommended by my father Haj Agha, such as the Divaneh Hafez [collection of poems or "ghazal" by renowned Persian Poet Hafez Shirazi], Mowlana [renowned Persian Muslim poet, jurist, mystic & Sufi also known as Rumi] and Parvin Etesami [20th century Persian poet]. In addition to reciting the Koran, Mr. Karroubi has also been able to fill his days reading these books. It is worth mentioning that last week, security agents finally accompanied my father to the complex's court yard for the first time since his house arrest, providing him access to fresh air.

Half of the units in the complex where my parents reside belong to other individuals. It goes without saying that since the illegal house arrest of my parents and as a result of subsequent behavior by security agents, these honorable people have been deprived of the right to live in their homes. To this end, my father had requested that my mother look into finding a new home so that by moving they could possibly put an end to the rights of the other home owners being further deprived. My mother first found a place near 7 Tir Square, but the Ministry of Intelligence officials did not agree because of the location. My mother is now looking to find another place. The main challenge she faces is that many of the existing home owners are unwilling to provide permission for entrance into their homes. Though the home owners are in no way opposed to Mr. Karroubi and his wife living in their building, they do oppose the around the clock presence of more than 20 security agents in their complex. The home owners are uncertain as to what will happen to their property [given the past defacing and destruction of Mr. Karroubi's current residential complex] and whether or not they would be allowed to rent their property or have access to it if Mr. Karroubi and his wife were to move in. I am still hopeful that my mother will be able to find a new place in the next few days. As for having access to a telephone, I must reiterate that Mr. Karroubi has been denied all communication. He has no access to newspapers, books or anything else. There has of course been no issue with buying food. As far as visitation goes, all children except for myself have had the opportunity to meet with him once.

It looks as though government affiliated media outlets insist upon publishing lies regarding the leaders of the Green Movement and their spouses. The latest of such bizarre claims on the condition of their house arrest was made by the website "Nedaye Enghelab Eghdam". In your opinion, what are the underlying reasons for creating such a false climate?

Unfortunately one cannot expect anything different from the media outlets feeding on our public funds. What expectation can we truly have of media outlets that refuse to publish a word about the hundreds killed in Syria, or obscenely take hostage the identity of the Green Martyrs issuing fake identity cards and claiming that they are Basiji martyrs? What can we expect of media outlets that approach the families of our martyrs promising them benefits and cash given to martyrs with the goal to convince them to reject their principles and the main issue at hand? The supposed news published by these media outlets has long been discredited and is void of meaning.

Have you and your brothers been restricted in any way during this time? There was a time when you recounted that your children no longer felt secure to attend school. Has the pressure on your family continued?

During the time you are referring to, they raided my house and approximately 13 security agents were stationed in our home. At the time, my children were even denied access to their school books. After our friends from the Intelligence Ministry graciously left our house, they moved on to my children's school and approximately 3 months ago confiscated and removed my children's academic records from the school premises. At the time, I sent them a message and will reiterate that message here, that if they refuse to return my children's academic records I will have no recourse but to write a letter of complaint to the Supreme Leader. Childish and unacceptable behavior such as accosting Karroubi's grandchildren after mistreating Karroubi himself is reminiscent of the security organizations under Stalin's regime. This government has stooped so low as to use my two school children to exert pressure on me, an act that was not even performed by the Savak [ intelligence service under the Shah's regime] against the armed guerrilla forces during the reign of the Shah. It goes without saying that this type of action by security institutions is not a sign of their strength, but rather only further illustrates their weakness.

Where are your parents at this time?

As indicated previously, my father Haj Agha is at home and has never been allowed to leave the house even for a few minutes. My mother however was allowed to leave the house once to receive medical treatment and a second time to look into a new place to live.

When and under what circumstances were your family members allowed to last visit with them?

My family members were the last to visit with Mr. Karroubi. However, because my wife refused a physical body search by the security agents, she was prevented from visiting with my father. My wife told the security officer: "Given that the visit is taking place in the presence of four female and male security officers, why is there a need for a physical body search? What can I give him in the presence of so many security officers? Let us not forget that this is Mr. Karroubi's house and you are the ones who have seized it. You have no right to perform a body search on me." As a result of my wife's refusal, my children were only allowed to meet with Mr. Karroubi. In this meeting my father told his grandchildren: "I firmly stand behind my previous positions and if I am freed some day I will continue to publish the same statements and give the same type of interviews."

It has been reported that there was no movement at your father's residence and the lights were off for a long period of time. Have any clear answers been provided regarding their whereabouts and circumstances during those early days?

As indicated at the time, my father was never removed from his house. The security agents had closed and covered the windows in order to ensure that there was no light emanating from the house. As a result, it looked as though our loved ones were no longer in their house. The security agents had even turned off all lights in the parking lot and corridors. My parents' endured very difficult conditions during those early days. In time we will reveal the offensive behavior by the security agents towards them.

Thank you for the time you have given Jaras. We look forward to the release of the leaders of the Green Movement.

with special thanks to Banooye Sabz for English translation

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