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Request on the Parliament's Floor: Release the Leaders of Iran's Green Movement

By Bahram Rafiei, Rooz Online

With the passage of over 250 days since the leaders of Iran’s Green Movement Mehdi Karoubi, Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard were put under illegal house arrest, and while just a few more months are left for elections to the ninth Majlis, a number of current lawmakers have, in the last month, made speeches on the floor of the Majlis calling for the lifting of the house arrest of the Green Movement leaders and the release of political prisoners that remain in prison since the post 2009 election protests. They call for this as a measure to create the ground for national reconciliation.

Under House Arrest: Mehdi Karroubi

Last week, Majlis representative Shakoor Akbarnejad (from Tabriz and Oskoo) criticized the general conditions of the country and said, “Unprincipled, emotional, and costly management has resulted in the loss of Iran’s real position and respect on cultural, social, economic and international issues where these have been replaced with inflation, law suits, drug addiction, divorce and other social ills.”

This member of the minority faction in parliament addressed the senior executives of the country by saying, “the solution to the problems lies in observing all laws, respect for all people and respect for all provisions of the constitution. The right to life provided by the creator should not be limited.”

And while he did not directly name the leaders of the Green Movement or the movement itself, his words clearly implied this. “Use the record of the divine prophets as your model and stay away from monopoly and extremism and take the long-term interests of the country and the nation into account. Respect those sections of society that think differently, end the prison and house arrests and replace these with brotherhood and kindness,” he said.

Prior to Akbarnejad, another lawmaker Mohsen Nariman from Babol also touched on the same subject. He criticized Ahmadinejad’s administration for “violating the implementation of Majlis laws” and strongly censured the administration’s non-compliance, while calling for the removal of the president from his position based on para 10 of article 110 of the constitution. “Has the time not come to review the constitution as is provided in article 177 of the constitution and end the house blockade and open the green door of national conciliation to this nation,” he asked indirectly referring to the leaders of the Green Movement who have been cut off from the world since early this year.

Prior to these remarks by lawmakers, senior clerics such as ayatollah Dastgheib, ayatollah Bayat Zanjani and ayatollah Sanei, in addition to long established organization such as the Majmae Rohaniyoon Mobarez (Association of Combatant Clerics) and other prominent personalities such as former president Mohammad Khatami, also had expressed their concerns over the conditions facing the illegal arrest of the leaders of the Green Movement and had called for their release, along with the political prisoners that have been detained since the 2009 presidential elections.

Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard
Under House Arrest: Mir Hossein Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard

Mousavi and Karoubi, along with their wives, were arrested about 9 months ago after they requested a permit from the ministry of the interior to hold a demonstration in support for the people of Tunisia and Egypt. Their houses were cordoned off by the police denying public access to them, and cutting of their contacts with the outside world. Till today, no official from any branch of the state has filed a lawsuit against the leaders of the Green Movement or presented any court document for their arrest.

The only remarks that have come from an official were made on February 17 this year when judiciary chief Sadegh Larijani said that “the judiciary would no longer allow the leaders of the sedition to express their goals and present their faces to Western media and present themselves as heroes.” He then asked people to let the judiciary to deal with the leaders of the Green Movement - which state officials call sedition leaders - through the judiciary and according to the laws of the country in a manner that is prudent to the state.

These remarks by Larijani came a few months after he had categorically said that the arrest and trial of the leaders of the Green Movement was subject to the views of the supreme leader ayatollah Khamenei and that he did not have the authority to do that.

During these nine months since their house arrest, both Karoubi and Mousavi have had private meetings with their family members amid heavy security presence. Karoubi had been initially transferred to a hospital, but no news was provided subsequently about his condition and the events that followed. On one such visit, one of Mr. Mousavi’s children sternly complained about the presence of security officials in their private meeting.

The placing of Mousavi and Karoubi, along with their spouses, under house arrest had also brought about international condemnation and requests for their release from various international organizations and governments.

Just last month, Amnesty International issued a statement in which it condemned the arbitrary arrest of the leaders of the Green Movement and their families and called for their immediate release. The International Federation of Human Rights Organizations also issued a statement calling for on the officials of the Islamic republic of Iran to announce the location where the leaders of the Green Movement were held and called on for the observance of human rights for them.

It also filed a complaint with UN group investigating the issue.

Speaking on the issue, AbdolKarim Lahiji, the co-president of the Association has said that since no official of the Islamic republic has confirmed the arrest or detention of Mr. Mousavi and Mr. Karoubi and their wives, this act constitutes kidnapping from a legal point of view.

Most recently, the report prepared by Ahmed Shaheed, the special UN rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran expresses its concern over the condition facing Mousavi, Karoubi and Rahnavard because of their illegal detention and cites this as examples of violations of human rights by the Iranian state.

... Payvand News - 11/02/11 ... --

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