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Mousavi, Karroubi in Heshmatiyeh Prison: Opposition Website

by TEHRAN BUREAU STAFF

28 Feb 2011 21:20Comments

Video: Shouts of "Allah-o Akbar" (God is great), purportedly in Tehran tonight. A Tehrani tells BBC Persian that he heard the chants in northern Tehran, Gisha, and up. However, a resident of Vanak told Tehran Bureau, "I was listening and heard nothing," adding that this had also been the case during previous occasions. "I'm probably not in a great location to hear such things."

Another witness tells us that there was chanting in north Tehran, but "not much."

"In the southern part of city it is easier to trace the sounds so people are more cautious. There are more highrises in the center and north which makes it difficult to pin down who exactly was doing the shouting," another explained.

Shervin Nekuee, chief editor of Tehran Review, tells us that Zahra Eshraghi, the granddaughter of Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, made the following observation on her Facebook page: "If Mousavi and Karroubi and their followers are anti-revolutionary, the Imam Khomeini must be as well."

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Our columnist Muhammad Sahimi compiled the following news items and commentary:

Kaleme, an opposition website closely associated with Mir Hossein Mousavi, is reporting that the former prime minister, former Majles speaker Mehdi Karroubi, and their wives, are being held at Heshmatiyeh Prison in eastern Tehran.

Fars, a news source close to Iran's security establishment, denies reports of their arrest.

Saham News, the website of Karroubi's National Trust Party, reports that Karroubi's younger son, Ali, has also been arrested, and that security forces were seeking Karroubi's elder son, Hossein, to arrest him as well. Both Mehdi Karroubi and his wife are reportedly in need of medical attention. Their unknown fate has created anxiety among supporters of the Green Movement. Reports also indicate that the location of the four prisoners has been changed several times.

Kaleme also reports that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered the arrest of Mousavi, Karroubi, and their wives, as no other official would dare issue such an order.

The children of Mousavi and Karroubi have written a public letter to the grand ayatollahs asking them to react to the arrest of their parents: "We, the children of Karroubi, spent our childhood behind closed doors of jails in the previous regime [before the revolution] and often followed the arrest of our parents by the SAVAK [the Shah's security apparatus], and we, the children of Mousavi, have always been concerned, beginning with our childhood, about the threats and dangers to our father [during his years as prime minister]. At this critical juncture in our history, when so many illegal actions are taken in the name of Islam, any role that you can play will lessen the price that the nation must pay. Our parents are proud of what they have done," they said in the statement.

Iran's Prosecutor General Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei said in a press conference that the judiciary has taken steps against Mousavi and Karroubi. He confirmed that all of their communications with the outside world have been cut off. He said, if necessary, further measures would be taken.

Fayzollah Arab-Sorkhi, a senior member of the Organization of Islamic Revolution Mojahedin, a leading reformist group that has been outlawed by the government, sent a letter from prison where he is serving a six-year sentence handed to him after a show trial, urging the Iranian people not to give up the struggle.

Reports indicate that the European Union is drawing up a list of 80 or so officials of the Islamic Republic that are leading violators of human rights in Iran, in order to sanction them. Among them are Hossein Taeb, who is with the intelligence unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and Hossein Allah Karam, a leading member of Ansar-e Hezbollah, the paramilitary vigilante group.

Grand Ayatollah Yousef Sanei, the progressive cleric and supporter of the Green Movement, has issued a statement condemning the arrest of Mousavi, Karroubi, and their wives.

In his class yesterday, Grand Ayatollah Asadollah Bayat Zanjani condemned the verbal assault on Faizeh Hashemi, daughter of Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. He said, "Did we suffer before the Revolution [in the struggle against the Shah] in order to create the current conditions? What has happened to morality and justice in an Islamic nation that a Muslim woman is attacked in public in a religious place?"

The Coordination Committee for the Civil Struggle and Human Rights in the province of Azerbaijan has issued a statement asking the people to take part in the marches on Tuesday, March 1. The Coordination Committee of Green in the city of Kermanshah has also issued a statement in support of the marches, and has declared that its supporters will take part.

Student organizations in 18 campuses of the Islamic Azad University around the nation have declared their support for the Tuesday marches. In addition, the Muslim Student Associations of the University of Tehran, and University of Medical Sciences of Tehran have also announced their intention to participate.

Two students of Sharif University of Technology, Pouria Naderi and Saman Farhat, who were arrested during the February 20 demonstrations, have been transferred to Evin Prison. Two student activists in Babol, Siavosh Chitgar and Ali Gholampour, have also been arrested. It is not clear where they have been taken.

Three soldiers, Shahin Attar, Soheil Rouhandeh, and Hamid Reza Mohammadi, who work in Evin Prison have been arrested on the charge that they have worked with outspoken reformist Mostafa Tajzadeh and journalist and documentary film maker Mohammad Nourizadeh, who are incarcerated there. Apparently, the three have helped them to send their statements and articles to various websites for publication.

A spokesman for the German government said today that his government is shocked by the news that during "an overnight operation, Mousavi and Karroubi have been taken to unknown locations." He characterized such acts as violations of internationally recognized human rights, and demanded that the Islamic Republic let their families and attorneys know where they are being held.

Homepage photo from pro-government demonstrations earlier this month.

Copyright © 2011 Tehran Bureau

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