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Daughters Deny End To House Arrest of Green Movement Leader

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

Daughters of Reformist Green Movement Leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard have refuted statements by some Iranian political figures, who had claimed Ms. Rahnavard is no longer under house arrest.

The couple and reformist cleric Mehdi Karroubi led the Green Movement following the disputed 2019 re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but security forces put them under house arrest in February 2011 after months of massive protest demonstrations by citizens who believed the election was rigged and that Mousavi had won it.

Reformist daily newspaper Etemad on Sunday May 6 quoted Esmail Dousti, a prominent member of Etemad Melli Party, as having said that “Ms. Rahnavard’s problem has been solved and she is free to come out of her house and go back there as she wishes.”

Meanwhile, reformist MP Qasem Mirzai Nikou told the Iranian Labor New Agency (ILNA) that Iran’s “Supreme National Security Council put an end to Rahnavard’s house arrest two months ago.”

Nikou added in another interview with pro-administration website Entekhab that it was Rahnavard’s own choice to remain indoors with her husband Mir Hossein Musavi.

Rahnavard and Mousavi’s daughters have rejected these statements by as “fabricated news” and told opposition website Kalemeh that their parents are still in custody in their home and no measure has been taken to put an end to their house arrest.

In February, when Rahnavard was allowed to go out of her house in order to attend her mother’s funeral, she denied earlier reports that claimed the government had lifted the ban on her freedom of movement.

Putting an end to the house arrest of the three Green Movement leaders was one of President Hassan Rouhani’s election campaign promises in 2013 and 2017, and he has been under constant pressure by the inmates’ supporters to try to secure their release. However, hardline political and judiciary officials have refused demands for releasing Musavi, Rahnavard and Karroubi.

Restrictions on the trio appeared to have been relatively relaxed in mid 2017 when several politicians, often linked to security organizations, held meetings with Mehdi Karroubi at his house.

Dousti had said at the time that Karroubi’s relatives are allowed to visit him.

ILNA on Sunday quoted Karroubi’s son, Hossein, as having said that family members now have “regular meetings” with the cleric under house arrest, adding that Mousavi’s sisters and brother have recently visited him and Rahnavard, and that the couple’s daughters can now stay over with their parents when they want. He said that is also true about Karroubi’s children who can now spend the night at their father’s house.

The outspoken parliament Deputy Speaker Ali Motahari has said that the reason why the house arrests have been prolonged is the disagreement between Judiciary and security officials.

Former President Mohammad Khatami has recently criticized Rouhani for not being serious in pursuing the issue of putting an end to the three politicians’ house arrest.

Members of a parliamentary committee that closely follows the matter have said Rouhani has refused to meet with them.