Mussawi accuses authorities


Published in “Sueddeutsche Zeitung”, August 18 2009

Mir Hussein Mousavi, Iran’s opposition leader, now also talks about cases of sexual abuse in Tehran’s prisons.
Mousavi_SZ 090818

Iranian opposition leader Mir Hussein Mousavi has accused “high ranking agents” of having raped anti-government detainees in prison.
The defeated candidate for the presidential elections in June thus supported accusations of reformist candidate Mehdi Karroubi.

Authorities had previously denied the accusations as being baseless. According to reports published on a reformist website, Mousavi said in a letter to Karroubi, those who had been abused and raped in prison were obliged to name four witnesses respectively.

New protests against newspaper ban
Authorities had urged the detainees to stay silent. However, it is not possible to appease the suppressed people by means of money or force, said Mousavi. Die Behörden hätten von den Gefangenen Stillschweigen verlangt. Es sei aber nicht möglich, die unterdrückten Menschen mit Geld oder Gewalt zu beschwichtigen, so Mussawi.
The day before, the temporary shutdown of Karoubi’s reformist newspaper Etemaad-e Melli hat triggered new protests, according to eyewitness reports.
As Iranian media reported, Karroubi had intended to address the accusations of his opponents on the front page of the originally planned issue of the newspaper. Conservative hard liners had critizised him for his remarks that detained supporters of the opposition had been raped in prison.

After the protests against the outcome of the presidental elections of June 12, at least 200 people are still imprisoned. Mousavi and Karroubi are part of the leadership of the protest movement. The opposition accuses the authorities of having rigged the elections in favor of the conservative president in office, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

This month, authorities have started three major law suits to put on trial several moderate politicians, human rights activists, lawyers and journalists. The conflict emerging from the elections has resulted in Iran’s heaviest inner crisis since the days of the Islamic Revolution 30 years ago.


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