TEHRAN, Iran, (AP) – The wife of Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi said Thursday that her brother is among the hundreds arrested in Iran’s postelection crackdown, and she warned authorities not to publish any “forced confessions” from him or other detainees.
More than 500 people remain imprisoned after the heavy crackdown against protestes that erupted in support of Mousavi after the disputed June 12 election. Among them are many top politicians from pro-reform political parties, human rights lawyers, journalists and activists.
Some hard-line officials have claimed that detainees have confessed to being in the service of “foreign enemies” to fuel the protests as part of a “soft revolution” against the government. The opposition denies the accusations and says any confessions have been obtained under torture or duress.
Mousavi’s wife Zahra Rahnvard told the semi-official ILNA news agency that her 62-year-old brother was arrested more than a month ago. “We have tried all legal and peaceful means to try to win the release of him and other detainees,” Rahnavard said, adding that she was speaking out now because some officials have spoken of allegations against her brother.
She said her brother, Shahpour Kazemi, a communications engineer, was “apolitical” and that “accusations of provoking riots or connections to foreigners … are unimaginable.”
She warned those that are making accusations against detainees that “a divine anger will catch them and the nation will reject them.”
This week, the political chief of the elite Revolutionary Guards, Yadollah Javan, issued a public call for authorities to make public any confessions to prove to Iranians that the opposition protests were foreign-inspired.
Mousavi claims to have won the presidential election and that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory was fraudulent. Hundreds of thousands of supporters marched in the streets in the weeks after the elections, until the crackdown by police, Revolutionary Guards and Basiji militiamen.
At least 20 people were killed in the crackdown — though human rights groups say the number is likely far higher.