Iran’s ex-president warns about health of detained opposition leaders

Photo: Iran’s ex-president warns about health of detained opposition leaders  / Iran

Baku, Azerbaijan, May 26

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

Iran's former president Mohammad Khatami has warned about the health of the opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi, who have been under house arrest for over three years.

"Serious efforts" have been made for freeing the opposition leaders, Khatami said, adding that "unfortunately every time we made statements on the issue, their detaining condition worsened," Iran's Asriran news portal reported on May 26.

Khatami went on to note that the detailed leaders should at least be permitted to receive full medial attention, when necessary.

Karroubi, Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard have been under house arrest since 2011 due to protests against the disputed presidential elections of 2009.

In 2009, after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected president of Iran for the second term, the opposition leaders protested the decision, which later resulted in massive protests across Iran, in particular in Tehran. Many people were arrested.

Mousavi was taken to hospital on April 29 for urgent heart complications and underwent a heart angiography procedure. It was the fifth time he has been admitted to hospital due to heart problems since his house arrest.

Previously in a Facebook status update, Narges Mousavi, the youngest daughter of Mousavi, expressed great concern about her father's heart conditions and the authorities' negligence in providing him proper medical care.

In mid-March the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon accused Iranian president Hassan Rouhani of not fulfilling campaign promises to allow greater freedom of expression and called for the release of political prisoners in Iran including Karroubi and Mousavi. Iranian hardliners argue that the opposition leaders should remain under house arrest until they "repent."

Iran's Prosecutor General Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei accused the opposition leaders of "destruction of public property", claiming that they are also responsible for the people that got killed.

"Their house arrest will not be lifted before they agree to repent," Mohseni Ejei said earlier.

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