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Iranian Political Prisoners Seek Opposition Leaders' Release

Mehdi Karrubi (left), Mir Hossein Musavi (right)
Mehdi Karrubi (left), Mir Hossein Musavi (right)
Thirty-three political prisoners have written an open letter calling for the release from strict house arrest of Iranian opposition figures Mir Hossein Musavi and Mehdi Karrubi, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

In the letter, the signatories condemned the Iranian government's illegal imprisonment of political leaders, while likening Musavi's detention to "kidnapping."

In their statement, the prisoners wrote: "It is for the good of the nation that both Musavi and Karrubi remain in the administration; they are the only defense against the scandal that the preelection coup has revealed."

Signatories of the letter included a number of political activists, including Mostafa Tajzadeh, Mohsen Mirdamadi, Ramadan Abdullah Zadeh, and Alireza Rajai Faizullah.

Musavi and Karrubi, who were both unsuccessful reformist candidates in the 2009 presidential election, have been under house arrest since February, when they called for the first Green Movement opposition demonstrations in more than a year.

Both have announced they are wiling to respond to the allegations in court, but have been denied that opportunity by the government.

Iran's chief prosecutor, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei, maintains that "house arrest for them is in their interest."

Karrubi, who has been kept in virtual solitary confinement for the past seven months, was allowed to see his family for the first time last week. They said he was in reasonable physical and mental health.

Read more in Persian here