Islamic Republic security forces allowed detained opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi to have an unexpected visit with his family yesterday.
Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi during the visit with his family
Mohammad Hossein Karroubi, Mehdi Karroubi's son, describes the visit by his father on his facebook page as follows: (translated by Banooye Sabz)
Last night my mother and my brothers had gathered at my house to celebrate father's birthday and the fact that my daughter had been accepted to university. Just as we were about to serve dinner the door bell rang and an agent confirmed that they had brought father to the house. We could not believe our ears and were elated that they had brought father to the house so unexpectedly.
My father arrived at our doorsteps accompanied by six security agents. Though he had lost some weight, he was nevertheless in great spirits. By his own accord, the weight t loss is a result of the more than two hours he walks in the apartment he is currently being held. When we inquired about his health he responded that he had been taken to a medical center a few days ago where he had undergone a complete medical checkup.
At the end of this one hour visit, the security agents allowed the family to take a group photo. It is worth mentioning that the security agents recently assigned to my father have promised my father that his situation will improve and that they plan to transfer him to a house in the area of Shemiran within the next ten days. They have also promised that the family members will be allowed to take turns and visit with him once a week. When inquiring whether father would be allowed access to books and newspapers, the security agents responded that the authorities would have to approve that first.
Although the six security agents were present at all times during father's short visit, it goes without saying that seeing him after 8 months transformed our small family gathering into a memorable and auspicious night.
I am hopeful that rather than managing the world affairs and providing guidance for the Islamic world, after 8 months, now that the authorities have decided to slightly improve my father's conditions and uphold his basic rights as a prisoner, that they will act likewise and improve the conditions of our prisons, upholding the rights of all prisoners. This has always been and will continue to be the minimum demand by their families.
Let us not forget that despite the conditions in Iran, in our neighboring country Turkey, a country that Iranian officials refer to as having implemented a liberal form of Islam, a political prisoner announced his candidacy for the elections from inside prison. In all fairness, Turkey has been at the forefront of establishing a positive reputation of Islam in the eyes of the international community and the world at large.
Mehdi Karroubi with his granddaughter (file photo)
Mehdi Karroubi was put under house arrest after he and Mir Hossein Mousavi rallied Iranians to demonstrate in solidarity with the Arab uprisings in the region. He was put under house arrest together with his wife and cut off from the outside world.
The house arrest had forced other residents in his housing complex out of their homes; therefore, Karroubi had urged the government to allow him to be transferred to a different location to stop that disruption.
The Karroubi family was told that if they prepared another house, the authorities might allow them to transfer the opposition leader there.
But when the family arranged for another house, the authorities refused to comply and instead moved him to a small apartment where even his wife was not allowed to stay because of the limited space.
The family has been very concerned for Karroubi's health in the new location; despite the limited space in the apartment, he is not allowed out for fresh air.
Fatemeh Karroubi, Mehdi Karroubi's wife said earlier that her husband has been denied the basic rights given to any detainees such as regular visits, access to books and newspapers and even fresh air.
She also indicated that while Karroubi is being held in custody without being officially charged, the family is also being forced to bear the cost of his incarceration.
Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard are also under house arrest since last February and prevented from outside contact.
... Payvand News - 10/08/11 ... --