Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian Nobel Peace Laureate, is throwing her support behind the 39 Iranian political prisoners calling for an election boycott and the release of Iran’s opposition leaders from house arrest.
In a statement, Ebadi commends the daring of the 39 prisoners and, in response to their call for support, writes: “I urge all freedom seekers all over the world to make all efforts to secure the release of all political prisoners in Iran, specifically Zahra Rahnavard, MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.”
She has also called upon all Iranians to boycott the elections. “I call on dear compatriots to boycott the sham elections for the 12th Islamic Parliament in March in order to once more announce to all the world that the Islamic Republic regime lacks legitimacy.”
Ebadi’s statement comes after 39 Iranian political prisoners issued a statement calling on all Iranians to boycott the March elections and persist in their demand for the release of Rahnavard, Mousavi and Karroubi, the Iranian opposition leaders who have been under house arrest since last February.
Mousavi and Karroubi challenged the legitimacy of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory in the 2009 elections and supported mass demonstrations protesting the alleged vote fraud. They were finally put under house arrest last February after they issued one last call to rally demonstrators in support of the uprisings in Arab countries last winter.