It’s been four years since the Iranian government detained three prominent opposition leaders and placed them under house arrest. The United States, State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement, “joins the international community in condemning their continued detention and the harassment of their family members, and in calling for their immediate release.”
Former senior Iranian officials and 2009 presidential candidates Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, as well as Mr. Mousavi’s wife, women’s rights advocate Zahra Rahnavard, were leading supporters of the post-election, pro-democracy demonstrations in Iran which became known as the Green Movement. They were arrested on February 14, 2011, after calling for public demonstrations in support of the Arab spring protests. Mr. Karroubi’s wife, Fatemeh Karroubi, was also detained, but later released.
The three Iranian leaders have not been charged with any crime and have not been tried. Many governments, human rights monitors, and United Nations bodies, including the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the U.N. Special Rapporteurs on human rights in Iran, on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, and on arbitrary detention, have noted the lack of respect for the basic human rights of the detained opposition leaders and have urged that they be released from house arrest.
State Department Spokesperson Psaki noted, “Iran’s constitution, its laws, and its international obligations guarantee its citizens human rights and fundamental freedom and provide that no one shall be subject to arbitrary arrest or detention. The United States,” she said, ”renews its call on every government, including the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to respect their international obligations and to release all prisoners of conscience."