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Karroubi Returns To House Arrest

Photo Released by Mehdi karroubi's family on twitter shows him in hospital after cardiac surgery on August 2017.
Photo Released by Mehdi karroubi's family on twitter shows him in hospital after cardiac surgery on August 2017.

Prominent Iranian dissident and Green Movement leader Mehdi Karroubi has been released from the Shahid Rajaei hospital and returned to his house, while security forces are stationed outside his residence, his wife, Fatemah Karroubi, has declared.

In an interview with Saham News, a website close to the octogenarian dissident cleric, she said, “The physicians took the stitches out of Karroubi’s chest and confirmed his heartbeat was back to normal and that he was healthy enough to be released from the hospital.”

Karroubi had undergone a second heart surgery to fix “an error” in the pacemaker recently installed in his chest, his son confirmed on August 19.

Karroubi’s son, Mohammad-Hossein, told Radio Farda his father had had his second operation that day and was then sedated to relieve the “extreme pain.”

According to Mohammad-Hossein, the problem surfaced when complications caused by his father’s hunger strike necessitated a return to the hospital.

More than two weeks ago, Karroubi’s family announced that after two angiography operations, the ailing opposition leader received a pacemaker. Following the surgery, on August 16, Karroubi announced his dry hunger strike, demanding an open trial in a competent court of law and the removal of security agents from his residence.

He ended his strike after his son announced that promises had made by the health minister and a deputy intelligence minister while they visited his father at the hospital.

Fatemeh Karroubi has reiterated that security forces had left the house where her husband has been under arrest for more than six years.

Earlier, judiciary spokesman Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei had insisted, “Who said the security guards have left his [Karroubi’s] house? That’s a flagrant lie.”

“The persons who provoke such an argument in defense of those who protested against the 2009 presidential election official result should be prosecuted,” he warned.

Retaliating to Ejei’s comments, Fatemeh Karroubi responded, “Fortunately, the government kept its promise and the security forces have completely left our house with all their equipment and belongings. They are now stationed in a booth outside the house on Choobineh Street.”

She lamented that her husband, during almost seven years of being under house arrest, has always been deprived of fresh air and sunshine.

“The security forces had disregarded my husband’s basic rights. They had occupied our residence, limited his communications, and installed microphones and cameras everywhere.”

More than anything else, Fatemah Karrubi maintained, “It was the head of the jailers’ arbitrary orders and decisions that tormented Karroubi to the extent that he was forced to protest by going on hunger strike.”

Moreover, she lamented, “Being under house arrest for almost seven years has damaged my husband’s health beyond repair. Nevertheless, he has stayed resolute and steadfast, ready to pay for his thoughts and points of view, regardless of their cost.”

Referring to a comment made by the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, that “the people’s vote is the decider,” she insisted, “There were incidents, meddling and interferences during the presidential elections in 2005 and 2009 that led [him] and many others to believe that people’s votes were not the main measure or decider anymore, therefore, they concluded that it was a serious and dangerous deviation that should immediately be addressed.”

Fatemah Karroubi emphasized that her husband still demands to be tried in an open and competent court, according to Article 168 of the Iranian Constitution. “In an open court, Karroubi and his lawyer will answer any questions raised and end the disturbing saga for good,” she said.

Karroubi, 80; former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, 75; and his wife,, Zahra Rahnavard, 71; had called the 2009 presidential election an “obvious cheat” and “engineered” in favor of their main challenger in the election, incumbent Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

Their protest led to months of bloody unrest, known as the Green Movement.

The trio were placed under house arrest in February 2011, after they invited people to participate in street demonstrations in support of democracy movements, or the Arab Spring, in Egypt and Tunisia.

A few Iranian politicians, including parliamentary deputy speaker Ali Motahari, have explicitly announced that the extrajudicial detention of the trio is solely based on the decision of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iran’s constitution grants broad 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 the law.