Opposition Leader Under House Arrest Offers to Serve Remainder of Imprisoned Mothers’ Sentences
“Release all the mothers as soon as possible and put me in jail in their place to serve the remainder of their sentences,” said Rahnavard, according to the opposition website Kalame, on November 5, 2017.
“I will do that even if the house arrest ends because I have felt the pain and bitterness of being away from my children,” she added. “I understand the heartache felt by the mothers and their children.”
Kalame reported that Rahnavard, 72, made the remark in response to an open letter written on November 28 by Narges Mohammadi, a mother of two children who is serving a 16-year prison in Evin Prison for peacefully advocating for human rights.
“This is the third year I am lighting candles in prison for [my twins] Kiana and Ali’s birthday, whose sweet faces I no longer clearly recall,” wrote Mohammadi. “I know my children don’t remember what I look like either. This is tyranny and oppression stripped bare.”
Rahnavard has also painted a canvas titled, “Imprisoned Mothers,” depicting some of the inmates embracing their children.
Rahnavard and Mousavi, along with fellow opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, have been confined to their homes since February 2011 without trial for leading the mass protests against Iran’s disputed 2009 presidential election.
The Green Movement grew out of those protests, which were violently repressed by the state. To this day, journalists are prohibited from mentioning the Green Movement, which state officials refer to as the “sedition.”