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Spotlight On Iran

MPs Launch A 'Committee' To End House Arrests

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

Some members of the Iranian parliament have joined the recent chorus demanding the release of Iran Green Movement figureheads who have been under house arrest for more than six years.

“A special committee has been launched under the umbrella of parliament’s reformist faction, Omid (Hope), to call for an end to the house arrests” announced Gholamreza Haydari, in an interview with Iran Students News Agency, ISNA, on Tuesday, August 8.

“Launching the committee is important,” according to Haydari, “since two of the detainees are suffering from poor health and need medical treatment. Furthermore, the majority at parliament are supporting their release.”

Nevertheless, Haydari did not elaborate on how the new committee can help ending the house arrests, while all efforts to do so have been unsuccessful, so far.

However, Haydari maintained, “If the committee seriously discusses the case with the head of judiciary and the speaker of parliament (Larijani brothers, Sadeq and Ali), it will certainly be rewarding”.

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, met with a harsh crackdown that left several killed and hundreds imprisoned.

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

Less than a week ago, in separate statements, more than one hundred civil and political activists, along with Iran National Unity Party, declared 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.

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.

Although it is not yet clear who has exactly ordered the house arrests but many believe that the Supreme Leader, ayatollah Ali Khamenei is personally responsible for the decision.

Iran’s Constitution grants wide powers to the supreme leader, but according to Article 30, no one can be banished from his place of residence, prevented from residing in the place of his choice, or compelled to reside in a specific locality, except in cases provided by law

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