Three years of house arrest for Karroubi and Moussavi: Human Rights Commissioner Strässer demands release of Iranian opposition leaders and bold reforms

13.02.2014 - Press release

Since 14 February 2011, Iranian opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Moussavi as well as Moussavi’s wife Zahra Rahnavard have been under house arrest.

Christoph Strässer, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement on this:

I call upon the Iranian leadership to finally end the house arrest of former presidential candidates Karroubi and Moussavi.

These house arrests are not based on any charge or verdict. They are therefore devoid of any legal basis.

Iran has entered into international obligations to respect civil and political rights. It must live up to these commitments.

President Rouhani must follow up his announcement that he will grant more civil liberties with deeds and launch bold reforms.


On 14 February 2011, former presidential candidates Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Moussavi as well as Moussavi’s wife Zahra Rahnavard were placed under house arrest in Iran. To date the Iranian judicial authorities have brought no formal charges against the three opposition figures.

The human rights situation remains critical even after the election of President Rouhani on 14 June 2013. While some prisoners were released, including human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, numerous opposition members are still in detention. Despite President Rouhani’s promise that he will grant more civil liberties, repression and human rights violations in Iran continue.

Human rights policy

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