Reporters Without Borders issued a statement Tuesday condemning the “arbitrary arrest” and “enforced disappearance” of Iranian political prisoners.
RWB spoke out against the “arbitrary arrests” of Iranian blogger and human rights activist Kouhyar Goudarzi and his mother, Parvin Mokhtare.
Goudarzi has not been seen since August 1, and some news sources have reported that he is under arrest. Parvin Mokhtare, Goudarzi’s mother, was arrested on August 2 and is being held at the central prison in Kerman.
Goudarzi was arrested in December of 2009 during the protests that sprang up to dispute re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He was sentenced to one year in prison for his collaboration with the Human Rights Reporters Committee and for relaying news reports and articles to foreign media. He was released the following year after serving out his sentence.
Reporters Without Borders emphasizes that arbitrary arrests and holding prisoners incommunicado is a blatant human rights violation akin to “enforced disappearance” yet it is “a widespread and systemic practice by the authorities in Iran.”
The statement goes on to express concern over the well-being of the Iranian opposition leaders currently under house arrest. It says state media has carried “disturbing reports about the health of MirHossein Mousavi, the owner of the closed newspaper Kalameh Sabz, who has been under house arrest since February 25. Despite reassuring statements from certain family members, the conditions in which Mousavi and his wife, the successful writer and intellectual Zahra Rahnavard, are being held continue to be worrying.”
Similar concerns are expressed for the other Iranian opposition leader, Mehdi Karroubi, and his wife Fatemeh Karroubi, who have also been under house arrest since last February.
The press rights group urges Iranian authorities to put an end to the “illegal arrest” of the opposition leaders and their wives.