The head of Iran’s Judiciary says there is no legal obstacle to the house arrest of the leaders of the Green Movement according to the country’s laws.
Speaking at a conference commemorating two martyrs, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani slammed recent U.S. statements about the house arrest of Mehdi Karroubi, MirHosein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard as interference in the country’s internal affairs.
“The U.S. State Department has issued a statement about Iran and the judiciary and has blatantly interfered in out internal affairs and it has said that no one should be under house arrest,” said Ayatollah Larijani; “and they are telling our judges and legal experts, ‘Your own constitution does not allow house arrests’.”
A press statement issued by Jen Psaki, spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, refers to the fourth anniversary of the house arrest of Karroubi, Mousavi and Rahnavard and condemns the “continued detention and the harassment of their family members” and calls for their immediate release.
The statement goes on to state that “Iran’s constitution, its laws, and its international obligations guarantee its citizens human rights and fundamental freedom and provide that no one shall be subject to arbitrary arrest or detention”, and it calls on the Iranian authorities “to respect their international obligations and to release all prisoners in their custody”.
Ayatollah Larijani stressed in his speech of Tuesday February 17 that Iran acts according to the principle of justice. He emphasized that the treatment of the opposition leaders under house arrest — according to his statement, they were engaged, knowingly or otherwise, in seditious activities — is completely in line with the country’s laws.
The Centre for Defenders of Human Rights, an Iranian NGO, recently challenged the legal basis for the house arrest of the three opposition leaders, calling it unconstitutional.