A statement issued by 33 Iranian political prisoners calls for the release of opposition leaders MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi from house arrest.
The announcement, released on the leaders’ 200th day of detention, was published on the Kaleme and Rahesabz websites and addressed to the people of Iran. The prisoners describe the house arrests as “akin to kidnapping and hostage taking.”
The statement also condemns the 2009 crackdown on protesters who contested the result of that year’s presidential election.
The prisoners also refer to the recent popular uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, warning Islamic Republic authorities “to take heed of the events in these countries, which show that force and oppression cannot hold back anti-authoritarian movements for long.”
They add that the Islamic Republic’s persistent use of certain policies over the past two years is “weakening the foundations of the regime and putting it on a path of self-destruction.”
The letter is signed by prominent opposition figures: Alireza Beheshti Shirazi, a Mousavi aide; Mostafa Tajzadeh, a former deputy interior minister in the reformist government of Mohammad Khatami; Abdollah Ramazanzadeh, who was a spokesman for the reformist government; and Mohsen Mirdamadi, the former head of the National Security Commission during the sixth Iranian Parliament. Other signatories include Hassan Younesi, the son of a former intelligence minister, and several journalists and other political figures.
MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have been completely cut off from the outside world since February, when they called for public demonstrations in support of the uprisings in Arab countries.
Iran’s Prosecutor General, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, recently confirmed the house arrest of the two opposition leaders, saying: “House arrest does not mean that they are under arrest per se, but for some people, it is in their own interest to be restricted.”