A new photo of an Iranian opposition figures – Mir Hossein Musavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard -- who have been held under house arrest for the past eight years has emerged on social media in the country.
The photo was reportedly first published on March 3 on the messaging app Telegram by the opposition Kalameh website.
It was widely shared on social media, including by the reformist Etemadonline news site which posted it on its Twitter account without an explanation. The photo was not published on Etemadonline site.
Many journalists and activists inside the country also shared the photo as well as a video where Mir Hossein is seen praying on social media.
The video was reported to have been recorded at the house of Musavi’s sister.
Reports say authorities have in past months allowed Musavi and his wife to meet with close relatives.
Authorities have banned media from publishing their images after they were put under house arrest in 2011. Musavi and reformist cleric Mehdi Karrubi emerged as opposition leader during Iran's disputed 2009 presidential election.
Musavi and Karrubi, as well as Musavi’s wife and university professor Rahnavard were put under house arrest in February 2011 after repeatedly challenging Iranian authorities over the disputed vote and human rights abuses.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has faced criticism from reformists over failing to free the three despite 2013 and 2017 campaign promises.
The U.S. State Department condemned the continued arrest of Musavi, Rahnavard and Karrubi last month on the anniversary of their house arrest while calling for their release.
“We demand their immediate release and the release of all prisoners of conscience, “State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said in a February 14 statement.