(16 November 2011) Iranian authorities should stop misrepresenting their human rights record in order to deflect international criticism and justify widely reported illegal detentions, said the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran today.
Mohammad Javad Larijani, a top Iranian official and head of the High Council for Human Rights of the Islamic Republic of Iran, told the United Nations press corps today that opposition leaders Mir Hussein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have been charged with incitement to violence, amongst other crimes. Larijani also said that Abdolfattah Soltani, a leading human rights lawyer, is detained because of connections to terrorist groups, although he presented no evidence to support his claim.
“It’s astonishing that Mr. Larijani comes all the way to New York, looks reporters in the eye, and manipulates the truth about Iran’s human rights record, making absurd and unfounded claims about such prominent prisoners of conscience,” said Hadi Ghaemi, the Campaign’s spokesperson.
Authorities placed Mousavi and Karroubi under de facto house arrest in February 2011, after they called for a rally in solidarity with popular movements in Tunisia and Egypt. Authorities ignored their request for a rally permit. Nevertheless, thousands of people took peacefully to the streets on 14 February 2011, only to face violent repression by authorities.
Since that time, Mousavi and Karroubi have been largely held at their hom… >>>