Iran's judiciary has shut down the office of defeated presidential
candidate Mehdi Karroubi. The pro-reform cleric came in fourth place
in the disputed June presidential election. But post-election he
angered conservative hardliners over controversial
claims that opposition protesters were abused and raped while detained in Iranian prisons.
director of the Center for Arab and Iranian Studies, Ali Nourizadeh,
spoke with a journalist from Karroubi's newspaper, National Trust, who
was present when authorities entered.
came to the office and they beat some of the people who resisted. And
they asked them to leave. But they beat them and then they sealed the
office. They took everything away from there," Nourizadeh said.
this is not the first time Karroubi has met government opposition.
Last month, Iranian authorities temporarily banned his reformist
newspaper for printing his rape accusations.
deny the rape and abuse allegations in Iranian prisons, but authorities
have ordered the closure of a detention center in Tehran.
office functioned as a headquarters to assist opposition protesters who
had been allegedly tortured or raped. On his party's website this
week, he said he submitted documents about abused detainees without
revealing their identities.
A spokesman for Karroubi's party says Iranian authorities have confiscated files, disks and computers.
Nourizadeh says those who filed claims are very concerned.
are very concerned about all those file[s], about people who were tortured
and raped so they wanted to keep their identity away from the
authorit[ies]," he said.
Nourizadeh says Karroubi is a target because he has crossed the line drawn by Iranian
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
looked at Mr. Karroubi as somebody whom if they allowed him to continue
to have a base, have place to distribute a statement, and to be
interviewed. They thought that would be a danger to their authority," Nourizadeh said.
Iranian authorities have not commented on the opposition-office closure.