Iranian opposition has renewed its call for people to rally on Monday in support of the recent Arab uprisings and “to protest the increasing illegal restrictions” against opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi and MirHosein Mousavi.
In a statement published on Kaleme website, the coordination council of the Green Path of Hope urges people to join the march on Monday at 3 PM “with determination and in peace” while avoiding any form of violence.
Earlier opposition leaders, Karroubi and Mousavi called on the ministry of interior to issue a rally permit so the people can demonstrate in support of the Arab revolts, which the Islamic Republic government has professed support for.
The ministry has so far not responded to the request; however, other senior officials have condemned the move and accused the opposition of trying to divide the people.
Iranians celebrated the anniversary of the 1979 Iranian Revolution on February 11 with the customary march, which this year featured slogans in support of the Arab uprisings as well as the usual pro-government chants.
The opposition statement says the increasing pressure on the opposition leaders reveals “the growing weakness and fear of the ruling autocrats regarding any civil and political movement, however peaceful.”
The government has put Karroubi under house arrest and cut off his phone. Also, internet access to sites promoting the rally has been blocked, and further arrests of reformists have been reported across the country.
The statement on Kaleme reminds the ministry of interior that it has a duty to protect the demonstrators, because according to the Article 27 of the Islamic Republic constitution, people have the right to demonstrate peacefully.
After the 2009 elections, when Mousavi and Karroubi accused the government of rigging the vote in favour of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the country witnessed mass demonstrations, with millions of people peacefully asking for a recount.
The Islamic Republic quashed the protests with systematic violence and accused the reformist opposition of trying to topple the regime.
The opposition leaders had refrained from calling any more rallies in the past year to avoid bloodshed but they have persisted in their demand for transparent elections, maintaining that the right to peaceful demonstrations, freedom of speech and assembly as well as free and transparent elections are all within the framework of the constitution.