CAIRO (AP) — An international human rights group said Sunday that the two main Iranian opposition leaders and their wives are in grave danger after security forces apparently abducted them from their homes, where they were under house arrest.
The claim by the group, International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, indicates a serious escalation in the Iranian government’s effort to silence the opposition movement that grew out of protests over the disputed presidential election in June 2009.
Iranian security killed three demonstrators in a harsh crackdown on two days of protests this month that coincided with popular revolts across the region against autocratic regimes, bringing down longtime rulers in Egypt and Tunisia.
One of the missing reformist leaders is Mir Hossein Mousavi, who ran for president in the 2009 election against the incumbent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was declared the winner despite widespread charges of irregularities. The other is Mahdi Karroubi, an ex-speaker of the Iranian parliament who also ran on a pro-reform platform in the election.
The two had been under house arrest since calling for the Feb. 14 rally in solidarity with the uprising in Egypt, and Iranian security forces patrolled the streets in front of their houses and kept visitors and relatives from entering.
The New York-based human rights group said in a statement Sunday that a neighbor and a witness reported that the security personnel at both houses… >>>