By Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL
Iranian opposition websites are reporting that leading Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi, who has been under house arrest since February 2011, has been taken to hospital. The reports quote unnamed sources as saying that Musavi was treated at the coronary care unit of a Tehran hospital that specializes in cardiology for a heart condition.
Mir Hossein Musavi has been under house arrest for a year and a half.
The reports say he was taken to the hospital on August 23 under tight security.
The opposition website IranGreenVoice reported that the night before Musavi was admitted to the hospital, security forces arrived and installed surveillance cameras inside the building.
Ardeshir Arjomand, who is Musavi’s advisor and a spokesman for the opposition Coordinating Council for the Green Path of Hope, confirmed in an interview with RFE/RL’s Radio Farda that Musavi was taken to a Tehran hospital, where he remains.
“We haven’t been able the confirm the details yet," he said. "We are waiting for confirmation but the news that [Musavi] has been transferred to hospital and went through an angiography is correct.”
Arjomand, who is based in Paris, blamed Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei for Musavi’s ailing health.
"Musavi was in perfect physical health [before] being put under arrest," he said. "Direct responsibility for anything that happens to Musavi lies with Ayatollah Khamenei.”
Musavi’s wife, Zahra Rahnavard, is said to be with her husband at the unnamed hospital in Tehran.
Away From The Public Gaze
Musavi, his wife, and opposition leader Mehdi Karrubi were put under house arrest in February 2011 by the government after their call for street demonstrations in solidarity with the Arab Spring uprisings brought out tens of thousands of protesters.
Since their arrest, the authorities have cut off all their contact with the outside world, leaving the three isolated. On rare occasions, family members have been allowed to meet with them under the close watch of security forces.
Earlier this week, Arjomand called on United Nations Secretary-General Ban ki- Moon to use his upcoming attendance at the Nonaligned Movement summit in Tehran to meet with Musavi, Rahnavard, and Karrubi and express his concern over the ongoing human rights abuses.
By keeping the opposition figures under house arrest, Iranian officials appear to be trying to make the public forget them, but opposition members and their supporters have done anything but.
Today, as the news broke about Musavi’s transfer to hospital, Iranians quickly shared the reports and posted pictures of him and his past statements on Facebook.
And last year, a book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez that Musavi reportedly recommended during a meeting with his daughters became a national bestseller in Iran.
Radio Farda broadcaster Hossein Ghavimi contributed to this report
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