Monday, July 28, 2014

Mother reveals conditions of opposition house arrest

Opposition figures MirHosein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard both appear to be ill, says Rhanavard’s mother, Navvab Safavi, who recently visited them under house arrest.

Rahnavard and her husband, opposition leader MirHosein Mousavi, were put under house arrest by Islamic Republic authorities in February, after the opposition rallied people to demonstrate on February 14 in support of the Arab uprisings in the region.

Mehdi Karroubi, another opposition leader, and his wife were similarly confined to their home for the same reason. The two leaders have been completely cut off from the outside world to prevent them from making public announcements.

For the first few months of their arrest, not even their children or immediate family were allowed to visit. Those strictures eventually relaxed to allow visits with their children and some relatives under strict security.

Safavi told Kaleme she met with her daughter and Mousavi last week and was concerned about their “pallor and sudden weight loss.”

Safavi also reports that all visits take place under strict surveillance, with several male and female officials present. When Mousavi’s daughters visit their parents, adds Safavi, even their hair is searched.

The officials don’t just quietly listen but often interrupt, saying, “Do not give any information!.” They utter threats and demand silence, she says. When Rahnavard’s family suggested sending over a physician to examine Rahnavard and Mousavi, officials said they would bring in their own doctor.

Safavi expressed grave concern that a trusted physician was not allowed to examine the couple under arrest.

She added that, in her opinion, Rahnavard and Mousavi are not under house arrest but rather have been “kidnapped.”

Safavi said her granddaughters have been subjected to “interrogations” in which they were “pressured and threatened,” and the whole family has been told to keep silent about all visits.

Safavi insists that her daughter and son-in-law have been arrested for no legitimate reason and should be immediately released.

The Iranian establishment has not pressed any official charges against the two opposition leaders, whom authorities repeatedly refer to as the leaders of a sedition seeking to overthrow the regime.

 

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