Iran: Concerns Mount Regarding Zahra Rahnavard’s Physical Well Being


Almost a year has past since the illegal house arrest of Mir Hossein Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard. During this time, Mousavi and Rahnavard have been deprived of their basic civil rights such as visitation and contact with their family members and loved ones. Moreover, family members and supporters who approach Akhtar street with the hope to find out any news of Mousavi and his wife are treated harshly by the agents stationed around [what is commonly referred to now as] “Akhtar Prison”.

Mousavi and Rahnavard’s communication with the outside world was completely cut off for a period of more than three months, with no communication whatsoever with their family after the first and last visit with their daughters on August 24th, 2011 when Mir Hossein reportedly stated “the future is bright” and “given the current environment participation [in the upcoming parliamentary elections] is meaningless.”

In recent weeks for reasons that remain highly ambiguous and disturbing, these restrictions have become even more stringent. Mousavi and Rahnavard have once again been rendered incommunicado and security agents have banned all communication including telephone contact or the ability to receive any news of their condition.

It is worth mentioning that contrary to the news recently published by a number of media outlets, to date, Mousavi and Rahnavard’s daughters have never visited their parents at their parents’ residence. It goes without saying that the far and few between visitations that have been allowed to date have been at locations other than Mousavi and Rahnavard’s residence and have unfortunately not led to any comfort or peace of mind for their daughters. If anything, witnessing the bitter circumstances of their parents and the behavior of the agents in charge of their security has only further increased their concerns.

According to reports received by Kalame, after a year of being deprived of seeing his brother, one of Mousavi’s older brothers who has recently not only lost his father but also seen his nephew tragically martyred, approached Akhtar street along with his wife with the hope to break the silence surrounding Mousavi and Rahnavard’s condition and find out any news of their health and well being. The agents reportedly stationed at Akhtar street not only refused to collaborate with a worried brother, but reportedly told him in a vile and contemptuous manner that he should return home and never again show his face at Akhtar street.

After stating that they have no information, the prison guards reportedly commented that no one lives at Akhtar street and when Mousavi’s brother insisted that it was not the case, the guards claimed that no one knows who Mousavi and Rahnavard are and individuals with such name do not live at this location! This claim that no one knows who Mousavi is and no one by this name lives at Akhtar street, has been made on numerous occasions in the past leading to extreme concern regarding the real whereabouts of Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard, two innocent and steadfast companions of the people’s Green Movement of Iran.

Given the utter lack of information regarding Mousavi and Rahnavard, Mousavi’s older brother only approached the prison at the dead-end alley way on Akhtar street because like other family members he too had been extremely worried about his brother and sister-in-law’s physical well being and sought to inquire about their condition. Mousavi’s brother was forced to leave Akhtar street, shocked and in dismay over the inhumane and unethical behavior of the security agents, without obtaining any news of his incarcerated loved ones.

The disrespectful and harsh conduct by the security agents towards Mir Hossein Mousavi’s brother took place while Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahvard continue to be deprived of the basic rights afforded all prisoners in Iran such as telephone contact with their loved ones. Though Mousavi and Rahnavard has been allowed a hand full of short and restricted visitation with their family members over the past year, the security atmosphere surrounding their house arrest and the restrictions imposed upon them, has increased over the past several months. In recent months, authorities have refused to even provide the family with slightest news regarding their well being, whereabouts and condition.

The media outlets associated with the ruling government and their security apparatus continue to spread rumors and insults regarding Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard. This, coupled with Rahnavard’s significant weight loss and the fact that her hands were shaking and she seemed distressed during some of the visitation, has led to extreme concern by family members regarding the safety of the food and the risks associated with the drugs provided to Mousavi and Rahnavard and the possibility of a plot against them.

The Islamic Medical Association had expressed concern regarding the health of the leaders of the Green movement in early summer demanding that Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi be examined by independent physicians. This demand was however ignored by the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Furthermore in a recent letter addressed to the authorities of the ruling government of Iran regarding the health of the leaders of the Green Movement, Saeed Hajarian one of Iran’s security experts warned the authorities , pointing to a “undesirable and bitter rumor”, noting that even imagining the validity of such a rumor would be beyond disturbing.

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