Iran opposition leaders still in jail

AFP , Tuesday 1 Mar 2011

Iran's main opposition leaders are still in jail, according to their families

The families of Iranian opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi insisted on Tuesday that the two men and their wives were still held in a jail despite a judicial official denying it.

Iran's prosecutor general Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie on Monday denied reports that opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have been jailed in a Tehran prison.

"We, the children of Mousavi and (his wife Zahra) Rahnavard, utterly reject the report denying our parents' detention in the prison of Heshmatiyeh," Mousavi's website quoted the opposition leader's daughters as saying.

"The only way to disprove the report of their arrest is by us meeting them immediately at our father's home. Given the evidence over the past days and weeks, we are certain that our parents are not at home."

Karroubi's family too insisted that the cleric and his wife were in prison.

"All the evidence shows Mehdi Karroubi and Fatemeh Karroubi are not present at their home," the cleric's website quoted the family as saying.It said a daughter-in-law of Karroubi had gone to visit him Monday morning, "but unfortunately no one showed up at the door.

"The family of Mehdi Karroubi considers this as abduction carried out by the regime."

The latest statements from the two families came after an Iranian judicial official denied an earlier report by the two websites that the two men and their wives "have been arrested and transferred to the Heshmatiyeh prison of Tehran."

"A judiciary source has denied the arrest of the chiefs of sedition Mousavi and Karroubi," the Fars news agency reported, without naming the official, adding that he had insisted that both men were at their homes.

"They are currently in their homes and are faced only with restrictions to contact suspect elements," the report said.

The two men, who have never accepted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's controversial June 2009 re-election, were put under "complete" house arrest after their supporters staged protests on February 14, the first in a year, their websites reported last month.

Judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani accused the two men of "treason", while lawmakers demanded they be hanged.

Opposition supporters planned to hold fresh demonstrations for their release later on Tuesday, according to their websites, but prosecutor general Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie warned that such illegal gatherings would not be tolerated.

"Anyone who acts against the law will be dealt with," the state television website quoted him as saying on Monday.

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