Iran opposition vows protests until leaders are freed

Monday, February 28, 2011

BERLIN - The Iranian opposition said Monday that its protests would continue until the release of two of its main leaders, according to messages on its websites.

The protests were aimed at securing the release from custody of Mir Hossein Moussavi and Mehdi Karroubi, who have been kept incommunicado under house arrest for almost two weeks.

The movement known as Green Wave has said it plans to hold protests Tuesday, and again March 15 if the two leaders are not released.

At least three people were killed and an unknown number of protesters arrested in two demonstrations held earlier this month.

More than 200 legislators, several clerical groups and government supporters have called for the arrest and execution of Moussavi and Karroubi for allegedly undermining the Islamic system and collaborating with foreigners.

But the government and judiciary distanced themselves from the death calls and put the two under house arrest. Unconfirmed reports said they were moved to another location at the weekend.

Moussavi’s website reported that the government has built an “iron wall” around the former prime minister’s residence in central Tehran. Witnesses said a large gate had been erected at the entrance of the alleyway leading to his house.

Opposition protests exploded in Iran after the fraud-marred 2009 presidential election, won by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Dozens of demonstrators were killed and numerous former reformist officials, journalists, students and activists were jailed in clashes for weeks after the elections.

Filed under: Politics

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