We will file a complaint with UNWGEID on behalf of Moussavi & Karroubi

02/03/2011
Press release
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The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran (LDDHI) strongly warn the Iranian government authorities against the consequences of the continued disappearance of four opposition leaders, the former presidential candidates Messrs Mir Hossein Moussavi and Mehdi Karroubi as well as their respective spouses Ms. Zahra Rahnavard and Ms. Fatemeh Karroubi. FIDH and LDDHI are taking measures to file a complaint with the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (UNWGEID) on their behalf.

Today, two judiciary officials, Prosecutor-General and Spokesperson of the Judiciary, Gholamhossein Mohseni Eje’i and Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Ja’afari Dolatabadi, denied that the four opposition leaders had been detained and both claimed that they were in their homes. On the other hand, the children of Mr. Moussavi and Ms. Rahnavard, and the son of Mr. Karroubi and Ms. Karroubi have reported that scores of security agents removed their parents from their homes on Monday, 28 February 2011, and took them to an unknown location. Unofficial reports indicated they had been moved to a prison under the control of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps. Mr. Moussavi’s children have had no contact with their parents since 16 February – following the 14 February street protests – from which time it has been impossible to contact them at all. Furthermore, according to Mr. Karroubi’s son, about 30 security agents stormed the Karroubis’ residence on 28 February and took them away. One of their sons was also arrested and is said to be in Evin Prison. Since 28 February, all contact with Mr. and Ms. Karroubi have been severed as well.

On Tuesday, 1 March 2011, hundreds of thousands of Iranians demonstrated in various cities, including the capital Tehran, Mashhad, Isfahan, Tabriz, and Rasht among others, against the continued repression and denial of their basic rights for freedom of assembly, association, and expression. They called for an end to the dictatorship and demanded the State release the four opposition leaders. The government once again responded by unleashing the official security forces, such as the police, the anti-riot forces, the revolutionary guards, as well as the paramilitary plain-clothed Bassij militia members and used live ammunition, tear gas, paintballs, baton charges and frequently fired pellets at the protesters as a result of which many protesters were injured. Hundreds are reported to have been detained in different cities.

Vice-president of FIDH and President of the Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights, Karim Lahidji said: “The houses of the four opposition leaders have been surrounded by the security forces and all their contacts were under scrutiny for months. Now they have disappeared. Their case constitutes a clear application of enforced or involuntary disappearance. The Iranian authorities are responsible for their safety. We will alert and file a complaint with the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances on their behalf. “

“The ongoing extreme brutal suppression of peaceful protesters and the disappearances in the Islamic Republic of Iran should convince the international community to pass a strong resolution in the Human Rights Council that would include the appointment of a special rapporteur on human rights for Iran.”

“We are also optimistic that the European Union will take action on the list of violators of human rights which we submitted in mid-February 2011, by freezing their assets and imposing visa bans on them and reiterating its ban on visits of European officials to Iran.”

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