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US Calls for Release of Iranian Opposition Leaders

  • VOA News

The U.S. State Department calls for the release of Mehdi Karroubi (R) and Mir Hossein Mousavi, (L), both candidates in the 2009 presidential election, and Mousavi’s wife, women’s rights advocate Zahra Rahnavard, held under house arrest without charge.

The U.S. State Department calls for the release of Mehdi Karroubi (R) and Mir Hossein Mousavi, (L), both candidates in the 2009 presidential election, and Mousavi’s wife, women’s rights advocate Zahra Rahnavard, held under house arrest without charge.

The U.S. State Department has called for the release of three Iranian opposition members held under house arrest without charge.

Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, both candidates in the 2009 presidential election, have spent five years in house arrest along with Mousavi’s wife, women’s rights advocate Zahra Rahnavard.

The two men led large-scale protests in 2009 after losing the presidential election to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a vote they say was rigged. They have been detained since February 14, 2011 when their supporters staged an anti-government protest in the capital, Tehran.

In a statement Sunday, the State Department said it joins the international community in condemning the continued detention of the opposition leaders and "the harassment of their family members."

"The United States will continue to urge the Iranian Government to respect its international obligations, including minimum fair trial guarantees and not subjecting its citizens to arbitrary arrest or detention," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said. "We repeat our appeal for the immediate release of these individuals and of all prisoners who are being held for their religious or political beliefs."

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