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Foreign Secretary calls for release of Iranian opposition leaders

Foreign Secretary William Hague has condemned Iran's attempts to suppress freedom of expression, a year after opposition leaders were put under house arrest.

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Speaking today the Foreign Secretary said:

“It is now a year since Iranian opposition leaders Mirhossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi were placed under house arrest along with their wives, Zahra Rahnavard and Fatemah Karroubi. On 15 February 2011, members of the Iranian Parliament called for their execution on allegations of spurious political offences. Iran has repeatedly ignored calls from the international community for their immediate release.

“Today they all remain in detention without charge, with the exception of Fatemah Karroubi. They are only allowed fleeting and usually supervised contact with their children. Iran has claimed this is for their own safety, but it is clearly a cynical attempt to silence their voices and those of their supporters.

“I call again for their immediate release. Freedom of expression and assembly are universal and inalienable rights that lie at the heart of progressive societies and I condemn Iran’s continued attempts to suppress these rights.”

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Published 13 February 2012