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Activists Urge Rouhani To Help End House Arrests

Mehdi Karubi, Mir Hossein Mousavi, and Zahra Rahnavard, undated.

In separate statements, more than one hundred civil and political activists, along with Iran National Unity Party, have said that ending the house arrest of the Green Movement’s leaders is a “national demand”.

Furthermore, 31 Islamic Students Associations have also urged the highest authorities in Iran to issue the necessary order for ending the house arrests, as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, the wife of one detainee, Fatemeh Karroubi has complained that after being under house arrest for years, her husband’s plight is as dire as it was before and restrictions imposed on him have been significantly intensified.

According to Kaleme, a website close to the Green Movement, more than one hundred civil and political activists have accused the Supreme Leader, ayatollah Ali Khamenei of personally standing against people’s demand for ending the house arrests.

The activists have urged President Hassan Rouhani to respond to the “national demand” by taking necessary actions to end the house arrests.

“If there are hurdles on the way to ending the house arrests, people expect President Rouhani to brief the nation about them,” the activists insisted.

Mir-Hossein Mousavi, 75, and his wife Zahra Rahnavard, 71, along with Mehdi Karroubi, 79, have been under house arrest since February 2011.

Karroubi and Mousavi were Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s main challengers in the 2009 presidential election. Ahmadinejad was officially declared the winner but the challengers protested the outcome calling it an “engineered result”.

Their protest led to more than five months of demonstrations that left several killed and hundreds imprisoned.

Later, the Mousavis and Krroubi were confined in their houses in February 2011 after they called for street demonstrations in solidarity with “Arab Spring” or pro-democracy movements in Egypt and Tunisia.

The number of statements calling for an end to the house arrests has increased since Mehdi Karroubi was hospitalized for heart complication and Mir Hossein Mousavi was reported to be suffering from severe dizziness and an ominous blood pressure fluctuation. All the statements have fallen on deaf ears, so far.

Moreover, in recent days, many MPs, members of Tehran’s City Council and activists have asked for permission to visit Karroubi at the hospital, but rejected.

However, Iran National Unity Party has marked ending the house arrests as a “national demand”, adding, “This is a self-made problem and its continuation has not been justified”.

Although it is not yet clear who is behind ordering the house arrests but many believe that ayatollah Khamenei is personally responsible for the decision.

One of Hassan Rouhani’s main promises in his campaigns for presidency in 2013 and 2017 was finding a way to end house arrest of Mousavis and Karroubi.

While admitting “Rouhani has limited tools and power” to interfere in the case, activists believe “the least he could do is speaking out” against what they have branded as “serious miscarriage of justice”.