Leader Accountable for Violence Against Opposition Leaders
(3 September 2010) The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran holds Iran’s Supreme Leader responsible for the safety of presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi and his family following attacks on Karroubi’s home by dozens of armed plainclothes forces.
The attacks took place over three days and resulted in graffiti, vandalism, broken windows, and shootings inside Karroubi’s home. Photographs of the attack can be viewed on the website of Saham News.
“It is unacceptable that dozens of plainclothes agents, armed with guns, tear gas, and other weapons, had free reign to terrorize Karroubi’s family without any interruption from the police,” said Hadi Ghaemi, the Campaign’s spokesman.
“The manner in which these attacks were conducted leaves no doubt that the Iranian government orchestrated them,” he added.
Mehdi Karroubi’s son, Hossein Karroubi, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the assailants entered the house by using tear gas and live ammunition. “This morning, Friday, a crowd of between 70 and 80 people came along with 20 motorcyclists. They broke a lot of things which had survived last night’s attack. They chanted slogans and insults. They left at about 3:00 p.m., saying, ‘We will be back tonight.’ We are waiting for them to return tonight,” he said.
“My father believes the attackers were organized by the security forces and government. There is no point in filing a lawsuit against these actions, as we know it’s not going to go anywhere. The attackers have complete impunity,” he continued.
The attack on Karroubi’s residence comes after comments made by IRGC Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari, alluded to support for such attacks. Jafari said that the people of Iran would judge the “heads of sedition,” instead of the regime, referring to opposition leaders. There was no attempt made by police forces to stop the attacks, a sign that confrontations with opposition leaders are being formally managed by pro-government and security forces.
“The police did not interfere at all. Only in the end, when the attackers were done and they were exhausted, the Special Police Force arrived and the attackers left. The only people defending the home were Karroubi guards,” said Hossein Karroubi regarding the lack of police presence during the attack.
The Campaign has previously expressed its concern regarding the role of police and Iranian intelligence in committing violence and orchestrating organized attacks against the government’s opposition. During the first round of attacks against Karroubi, in a letter to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Karroubi’s wife said that the attacks were being conducted in support for the Supreme Leader.
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran expresses its grave concern about government-led violence and the spread of an atmosphere of fear and intimidation through the use of thugs and plainclothes forces coordinated by security forces.
“The International community should strongly condemn these actions by the Iranian government and demand that the government refrain from sanctioning such criminal acts,” said Ghaemi. “The attacks on Karroubi’s family are another sign of the fast erosion of rule of law and the urgency of holding the Iranian government responsible for its human rights violations,” he added.