Today, the United States of America expressed condemnation of continued imprisonment of the former presidential candidates and opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi, Mir Hossein Mousavi, and his wife, women’s rights activist Zahra Rahnavard, who are under house arrest without being formally charged for any crimes.
In a press statement, US Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland says the US joins the international community in condemning their continued imprisonment and the harassment of their family members, and in calling for their immediate release.
“Their situation remains unchanged and we further call on Iranian officials to conduct fair and transparent presidential elections in June that conform to internationally accepted standards and uphold the rights guaranteed under Iran’s own laws and constitution.” – Ms. Nuland
In addition, Ms. Nuland notes the United States remains deeply troubled by the Iranian regime’s latest campaign of fear and intimidation to extinguish dissent, eliminate freedom of expression, and deny the Iranian people their freedoms at the same time that it fails to hold the worst human rights abusers responsible for their actions.
The US is equally equally concerned by the ongoing bans on political parties and the imprisonment of political leaders in the lead up to Iran’s presidential elections in June.
Officials have tried to limit open political debate with the detention of more than a dozen journalists and the regime has also tried to silence numerous activists and human rights defenders through arrests and intimidations, she 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.” – Ms. Nuland
In mid-February 201