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Report: Karroubi under House Arrest, Visitors Barred, Advisers Jailed

10 Feb 2011 16:46Comments

Press Roundup provides selected excerpts of news and opinion pieces from the Iranian and international media. Click on the link to the story to read it in full. Tehran Bureau has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. The inclusion of various opinions in no way implies their endorsement by Tehran Bureau. Please refer to the Media Guide to help put the stories in perspective. You can follow other news items through our Twitter feed.

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Mehdi Karroubi 'House Arrest' after Protest Call

BBC News | Feb 10

Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi has been put under house arrest, his official website says.

Security officials at the premises say the measures will last until next week, it adds. No one is being allowed to enter the house except his wife.

Mr Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, another opposition leader, had called for a rally on Monday to support the popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.

Family of Opposition Leader Barred from Entering Home, Meeting with Father

Green Voice of Freedom | Feb 10

The sons of 2009 presidential candidate Mahdi Karroubi have been barred from entering their father's home.

According to Saham News, the official website of Karroubi's National Trust Party, security forces deployed outside the Karroubi home have prevented his children from entering their father's house saying that they would not be allowed to enter the house until 14 February when the opposition's plans to hold mass demonstrations in support of the recent Arab uprisings.

The security forces have announced that with the exception of Karroubi's wife Fatemeh, "none of his sons, daughter-in-laws and relatives" have the right to enter the Karroubi home and to meet the outspoken opposition leader.

Iranian Opposition Leader Mehdi Karroubi Placed under House Arrest

Washington Post | Feb 10

The measure also appeared clearly intended to prevent Mehdi Karroubi [...] from participating in a state-backed rally Friday to celebrate the 32nd anniversary of the country's Islamic revolution.

Last year, Karroubi crashed the official celebrations, together with supporters of the grass-roots Green Movement, triggering minor skirmishes between the opposition activists and security forces.

In a sign of a wider crackdown ahead of the rally and the protest, Sahamnews reported the arrest since Wednesday night of two Karroubi allies, Taghi Rahmani and Mostafa Mirahmadizadeh. Also Thursday, Mousavi's Web site, Kaleme.org, reported the detention of a close Mousavi ally, Mohammad Hossein Sharifzadegan.

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Taghi Rahmani, Iranian Political Activist, Arrested Again

Radio Zamaneh | Feb 10

Taghi Rahmani, a senior campaign official for opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, was arrested today, the latest in a long string of arrests.

Karroubi's Saham News website reports that Rahmani was arrested in his home. He was last arrested in the wake of the 2009 presidential elections, along with political activists Hoda Saber and Reza Alijani. Rahmani was first arrested in 1982 and sentenced to three years in prison for "membership in a group with Ali Shariati worldviews." He was arrested again in 1987 for publishing an underground newspaper and sentenced to 11 years in prison.

After his release, he founded the monthly Iran Farda and the weekly Omid Zanjan, publishing extensive studies on religious modernism. His links to national religious activists led to more arrests and prison sentences.

Rahmani won the Human Rights Watch Hellman/Hammett award in 2005.

Karroubi Advisor Mostafa Mirahmadizadeh Arrested in Qom

Green Voice of Freedom | Feb 10

Another advisor to Iranian opposition leader Mahdi Karroubi has been arrested in the holy city of Qom.

According to the Green Voice of Freedom's Persian service, cleric and law professor Mostafa Mirahmadizadeh was arrested by security forces on Wednesday afternoon. Mirahmadizadeh was a student of [the] late Grand Ayatollah Montazeri and is currently a member of the Baran foundation established by former president Mohammad Khatami. Following his arrest, he was taken to a prison run by the Intelligence Bureau of Qom.

Mirahmadizadeh was arrested once more in late February 2010 after which he was held in custody for eighteen days. According to a verdict by a special clerical court, Mirahmadizadeh was sentenced to ten years of exile outside Qom and was barred from appearing in public in the special robe and turban reserved for Shiite clergymen.

Pro-government websites reported that the reason for Mirahmadizadeh's arrested was his alleged involvement in directing the Ashura protests on 27 December 2009, signing a petition in support of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri along with 380 other figures, a letter to the "president" and conducting meetings with the leaders of the Green Movement. Other reports suggest that Mirahmadizadeh's arrest was related to his critical viewpoints towards the political system and a heated debate he had had with a student at Qom's Mofid University who had insulted Grand Ayatollah Montazeri in class.

Iranian Judiciary Says Confrontation Would Turn Opposition Leaders into 'Saints'

Radio Zamaneh | Feb 9

The head of Iran's judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, says the Iranian opposition leaders have not been arrested, despite their alleged seditous aims, in order to avoid turning them into "saints."

"It is unfair to say that the judiciary has been indulging the seditionists," Ayatollah Larijani was quoted as saying by Iranian media. "We have processed more than 1,000 files, and several people linked to the seditious movement have been sentenced and are currently serving their prison terms."

Iranian authorities refer to the mass protests that sprang up against alleged fraud in the 2009 presidential elections as "sedition." Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, who ran against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the elections and have disputed the outcome, have been branded "leaders of the sedition" by the Islamic Republic establishment.

"In terms of the sedition leaders, it is essential to focus on the interests of the regime," Iran's judicial chief said. "Furthermore, the decision regarding this matter does not rest with me. The Vali Faqih (Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei) determines the interests of the regime, so this is an issue that is beyond the authority of the judiciary."

Ayatollah Larijiani said he agrees with the government's restraint in dealing with the opposition leaders, "because if we had confronted the leaders of the sedition, they would have been turned into saints."

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The Wife of Opposition Leader Karroubi Talks about New Restrictions on Her Husband (Persian-language report)

Lenziran | Feb 10

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