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Late cleric's son calls for release of Iranian political prisoners


Source: Radio Zamaneh

Ahmad Montazeri, the son of the late dissident cleric Ayatollah Montazeri, has written to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei to ask that he release the two detained opposition leaders, MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, so they can attend the inauguration of president-elect Hassan Rohani.

Ahmad Montazeri

In a letter published on his website, Ahmad Montazeri writes that creating national unity is a top concern due to the current political and economic situation of the country.

He goes on with his address to Ayatollah Khamenei, saying: "Your order for the release of Mr. Karroubi, Mr. Mousavi, Mrs. Rahnavard and other political prisoners, allowing them to attend the presidential inauguration, could be the simplest way to achieve this end."

Hassan Rohani, the candidate backed by reformists, won the June election with over half of total votes. His inauguration ceremony will take place in early August.

Karroubi, Mousavi and Rahnavard have been under house arrest since February of 2011.

Ahmad Montazeri also calls for the attendance of representatives from different political groups as well as the families of victims of the 2009 protests and families of the victims at Kahrizak Prison, who were tortured and killed.

The elections protests of 2009 in support of the reformist candidates were met with widespread arrests and violence. Many protesters were killed on the streets, thousand were arrested and many are still serving harsh sentences.

Detainees at Kahrizak Prison were tortured and at least three of them died while in custody.

The new president-elect, who won on a platform of moderation, has been called on by progressive forces to make every effort to bring about the release of the opposition leaders and other political prisoners.

Son details health issues of detained opposition leader

Mohammad Taghi Karroubi, the son of Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, reports that his father was taken to hospital for a series of tests.

Mehdi Karroubi
Mehdi Karroubi

Mohammad Taghi Karroubi told Saham News that his father, who has been under house arrest since February of 2011, has developed respiratory and digestive problems and last week he was taken to hospital for a series of tests.

He reported that his father has experienced "serious weight loss, high blood concentration and loss of appetite" in the course of his house arrest.

He added that the conditions of his arrest are complicating these health issues, as he is being kept in an office space that lacks the facilities available in "a simple residential unit, such the possibility of catching some fresh air."

Karroubi went on to say that security forces keep the windows shut and there is very little light in the facility. The building is reportedly an old building infested with insects and cockroaches. The place is, therefore, being regularly sprayed with chemicals, which, according to the opposition leader's son, may be the cause of his father's respiratory complications.

While the deputy head of the Etemad Melli Party recently reported that actions are being taken toward the release of their leader, Mohammad Taghi Karroubi said his family has not been informed of any possible end to the "illegal treatment" of his father.

Mehdi Karroubi and MirHosein Mousavi, two presidential candidates in the 2009 election, were put under house arrest in 2011 for refusing to recognize the legitimacy of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government and for triggering mass protests.

While the two have been under house arrest for more than two years, neither has been formally charged by the judiciary.

MirHosein Mousavi's wife, Zahra Rahnavard, has also been under house arrest with her husband since 2011.

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