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Markus Löning condemns house arrest of Iranian opposition figures

14.02.2013

On 14 February 2011, opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Moussavi and Moussavi’s wife Zahra Rahnavard were placed under house arrest in Iran. Markus Löning, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (14 February):

Two years ago the Iranian opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Moussavi and Moussavi’s wife were placed under house arrest. The Iranian security authorities had no legal basis for the arrest, and acted in violation of all principles of the rule of law. To this date there has been no objective judicial review of the house arrests.
I call upon the Iranian Government to release Mehdi Karroubi, Mir Hossein Moussavi and Zahra Rahnavard from house arrest immediately and to finally make it possible for free and democratic elections to be held.
Iran has signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In doing so it has pledged to respect the rights of all its citizens. Random detentions are a clear breach of this pledge.

Background:

To date the Iranian judicial authorities have made no formal charges against the three opposition figures, but they nonetheless remain under house arrest. In February 2013, Iranian security authorities also summoned Mir Hossein Moussavi’s daughter. And in January Karroubi’s son Mohammad Hossein Karroubi received a six-month suspended sentence for having contact with foreign media.

These incidents illustrate how critical the situation for members of the Iranian political opposition remains despite international efforts. Acts of repression against members of the political opposition are cause for particular concern in the run-up to the presidential elections on 14 June 2013.

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