Almost a month after the house arrest of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard, their daughters say they have finally been allowed to see their parents at “a home” in Tehran’s Pastor neighbourhood where their home is located.
In a letter published by Kaleme.com, Mousavi’s daughters said the authorities’ decision to allow for the meeting to take place on Tuesday was a “great victory for the Iranian people.” They also stressed they were under strict security control during the short meeting and were barred from bringing up any political topics with their parents.
The daughters of Iran’s former Prime Minister state that following the brief meeting with their parents, they had been reassured that their parents were “more determined than ever before to stand by their promise to the Iranian people.”
According to the report, Mousavi’s home was raided by security forces on 14 February, as massive demonstrations were being held in Iran in solidarity with the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings. In addition, many classified documents from the period of Mousaiv’s Premiership were also confiscated during the raid.
The letter by Mousavi’s daughters is as follows:
Dear friends and like-minded comrades
More than anything, we value your concern, compassion, companionship, and interest and we are grateful for your kindness and greatness.
Till this moment, when we are writing you this letter, a month has passed since the beginning of our parents’ [house] arrest. During this month, we did not know where and how they were spending their days. At this point in time, it is of no importance to us whether they are imprisoned inside [their] home on the dead-end Akhtar street close to Pastor avenue or in Heshmatiyeh [military prison], or in a safe-house in Damavand, or anywhere else [for that matter]. More importantly, a prison has its own characteristics and definition; it is the complete isolation of a captive from the outside world; the prison is in the hands of the armed forces.
After weeks of having no news [about our parents], on Tuesday 8 March, our uncle and aunt were summoned by security forces via separate phone calls in order to provide clarifications, something that had happened for only one of us daughters. During these security-dominated meetings, it was said that it would be possible only for her to meet with our parents. Our aunt and uncle also received this offer which was not approved [in the end]; a dubious but also pleasing offer. Indeed, after all the painful rumours and the bitter separation from one’s parents, what daughter could resist such an offer, regardless of how dubious it [might appear]? At their behest, flowers were bought and we went to meet with our father and mother.
After promising not to discuss politics, we entered a home located in the Pastor [neighbourhood] and after passing by the backyard of this house which was filled with security forces and a van with dark windows, we entered the only room in the house. With an indescribable sense of excitement, we embraced our parents who were clearly uninformed about this meeting. That same friendly face of [our] father, [a face] filled with kindness. That sense of serenity that sprung from [our] mother’s presence.
More bothersome than the ten pairs of watchful eyes of the security forces glaring at us from behind the glass wall, was another security official who self-righteously was sitting amongst us and ended our conversations at will, by [interrupting] us as though he was a family member.
This short meeting dominated by security measures had a number of noteworthy features. One was the majestic reception which included a table filled with fruits, tea and a variety of drinks, which induced the idea that it was almost certainly serving propaganda purposes.
With particular sensitivity, father stressed that on 14 February—when we stopped receiving any news of them—security forces raided the house, confiscating many documents from the period of [Mousavi’s] Premiership which were not to be accessed by anyone but him, plus a considerable volume of papers, books and CDs belonging to [our] mother which were the product of a lifetime of work and teaching at Art Universities. In this raid, items as personal as photo albums were also inspected. Yet we’ve been reassured that our parents are more determined than ever before to stand by their promise to the Iranian people.
After this restricted and abnormal meeting, we were relentlessly asked to remain absolutely silent about the event. The pressure by the security forces to suppress the issue is puzzling. No matter what the hidden and apparent intentions and causes or possible exploitations of the issue might be, compelling the prison guards to allow for a meeting to take place is a great victory for the Iranian people [in itself]. We would like to stress the illegality of this [house] arrest and the restrictions imposed. For close to two years now, we have marched on this path alongside each other and have looked hopefully towards a bright green future, and thus, consider it to be our responsibility to inform you, our dear sisters and brothers, about this meeting as we do not deem further silence on the matter to be fitting. We demand an immediate end to these illegal restrictions for our parents and the great honourable Karroubi family and all the innocent people who’ve been locked up. We will resist along alongside the people of Iran in order to achieve this legitimate demand. Like our father, we will [continue to] communicate any news and information to our honourable nation through the Kaleme website at an appropriate time.