Opposition Leader’s Safety in Danger as Karroubi Spends 42 Days in Complete Isolation
“Under the Manipulation of Psychiatrists to Make Televised Confession,” Source Says
(28 August 2011) Iranian Opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi is in grave danger of physical and psychological harm, as news of his complete isolation for the past 42 days emerged today, said the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. The Campaign called for his immediate release.
A credible source from inside Iran has told the Campaign that “Karroubi is surrounded by a team of psychiatrists working with his captors to force his mental state into agreeing to appear in front of cameras and make televised ‘confessions.’”
“We are extremely concerned for the health and well-being of Karroubi, who is 74 years old, and no one has heard from him for six weeks, not his wife, any family or associates,” said Hadi Ghaemi, the Campaign’s spokesperson.
Karroubi’s wife today said her husband was separated and moved to a new, tiny apartment on 1 August 2011 and that there has been no communication from him since 16 July 2011. Her interview was published on Karroubi’s official website Sahamnews.
The source close to Iranian officials, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Campaign that a team of psychiatrists has joined Karroubi’s captors to manipulate and force him to make televised confessions. Iranian intelligence agents have a long history of using such tactics against prominent opposition figures, documented by the Campaign in its recent report, A Brief History of “House Arrests” and Detentions in “Safe Houses”: What Will Be the Fate of Disappeared Leaders?
“Another shameful, abhorrent, and tiresome stage-play appears to be unfolding to produce televised confessions from a 74-year-old leader who is trapped in the clutches of his heartless captors bent on pushing forward their own political agenda,” said Ghaemi.
Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, two presidential candidates who challenged the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 2009, have been under “house arrest” since 14 February 2011.
There has been no judicial process whatsoever initiated by their state captors. Several well-informed sources have told the Campaign that the Supreme Leader and his closet associates are directly responsible for their “house arrest” and treatment.
Ahmad Jannati, head of the Guardian Council, urged for the “incommunicado“ house arrest of Karroubi and Mousavi during a Friday prayer sermon in Tehran on 18 February 2011, which has indeed unfolded according to his instructions. “Their communication channels must be shut down, the door to their homes must be boarded up, their telephone disconnected, and their internet also yanked off so they cannot send any messages, make statements, or receive them. They must be imprisoned in their homes,” declared Jannati during his 18 February sermon.
The Campaign holds Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, directly responsible for the safety and health of Karroubi and Mousavi and calls on him to immediately release them.