Ban Ki-moon

More than 400 Iranian political and social activists have written to the UN Secretary General to urge him to visit Iranian opposition leaders MirHosein Mousavi, Zahra Rahnavard and Mehdi Karroubi, who have been under house arrest in Iran for more than 18 months.

Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, is scheduled to attend the NAM meeting in Tehran this week.

The signatories have written that this is the best opportunity for the UN Secretary General to directly evaluate the human rights conditions in Iran.

The letter refers to MirHosein Mousavi’s heart complications, which led to his recent hospitalization, saying a meeting with the Iranian opposition leader could defuse some of the threats against him.

Mousavi underwent heart surgery last week and was returned immediately to house arrest.

Mousavi and his wife, Zahra Rahnavard, have been held under house arrest since February of 2011 after they challenged the 2009 election outcome triggering mass protests.

Mehdi Karroubi, another candidate in the 2009 presidential elections, was also put under house arrest with his wife, Fatemeh Karroubi. While Karroubi remains under detention, his wife has been released.

The letter indicates that the UN Secretary General could advance Ahmad Shaheed’s frustrated mission to examine the human rights situation in Iran.

Ahmad Shaheed has been appointed as the UN’s special rapporteur for human rights in Iran, but the Islamic Republic has refused to allow him to travel to Iran.

The Iranian activists urge the UN Secretary General to demand the release of all political prisoners and to make every effort to visit Mousavi, Rahnavard and Karroubi.

The NAM Summit opened today in Tehran, and Ban Ki-moon is scheduled to arrive in Tehran on August 29.