On February 14, the Acting State Department Spokesperson Mark Toner called for the immediate release of 2009 presidential candidates and opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi as well as Mousavi’s wife, women’s rights advocate Zahra Rahnavard. They have been under house arrest for six years for leading Green Movement protests after the disputed 2009 election. But they have not been formally charged with any crimes. The following is Toner’s statement.
Six-Year Anniversary of the House Arrests of Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Zahra Rahnavard
This week marks the six-year anniversary of the detention without formal charges of former senior Iranian officials and 2009 presidential election candidates Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, as well as Mousavi’s wife and women’s rights advocate Zahra Rahnavard. They all remain under house arrest in the Islamic Republic of Iran. We call for the immediate release of these individuals and of all prisoners of conscience unjustly detained in Iran.
Their continued house arrest contradicts Iran’s international obligations including those under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a state party, to provide minimum fair trial guarantees and not to subject citizens to arbitrary arrest or detention. We join the international community in condemning the continued arbitrary detention of these three individuals without charges or fair trials and in calling for their immediate release.
Iran should respect human rights and fundamental freedoms of all individuals in Iran consistent with its international obligations, including ensuring the fundamental right of peaceful freedom of expression and the right to participate in civil society and in the political process without fear of arbitrary arrest and detention or denial of fair trials.