Iranian opposition leaders Mir Hossein Musavi and Mehdi Karrubi and their wives are in grave danger after security forces transferred them out of their homes, where they were under house arrest, and taken them to an unknown location, International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI) said on Sunday.
Earlier in the day, when the leaders were still under house arrest, Iran's former president Mohammad Khatami had urged the authorities to release them.
"Why should people like Mr. Mousavi and Mr. Karroubi, and their wives, who have had a glorious past in the revolution and the Islamic republic, and who are loyal to the revolution and the Islamic republic, be placed under house arrest?" Khatami said [Khatami.ir, 27 February]. "I hope that with the start of the Iranian New Year (21 March) we will see the end of the house arrest, the end of restrictions, the release of the prisoners and the creation of a safe and free climate in which the people's vote will be decisive," he added.
As the news of the detention of the opposition leaders and their wives spread, the White House issued a statement condemning the arrests. In the statement, issued by National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor, the White House called for Iranian leaders to allow active dialogue among its citizens, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly without fear.
The detentions are a serious escalation of the Iranian government’s efforts to silence the opposition amid the rising tide of the democratic movements throughout the Middle East.
Photo: BBC File Photo