Mon, Feb 28, 2011 | DebkaFile
Iran’s Top Opposition Leaders Secretly Jailed, West Fails to Act Again
The White House on Monday, Feb. 28, said the U.S. “strongly condemns the Iranian government’s organized intimidation campaign…” After a human-rights group reported that two opposition figures had been moved from where they were detained under house arrest to an unknown location, the White House accused the Iranian government in general terms of, “blatant violation of the universal rights of its citizens…” as well as “blocking Internet sites and jamming satellite transmissions.”
The disappearance of Iran’s two most prominent opposition figures, Mir-Hossein Moussavi and Mehdi Karroubi, was not mentioned in the White House statement.
Debkafile’s Iranian sources reveal here that both have been secretly jailed at the infamous Parchin prison.
Thursday night, Feb. 24, they were taken from their Tehran homes, beaten, concealed in large sacks and carried in armored police vehicles to one of Iran’s hellhole prisons. Inmates of Parchin are rarely seen again. Their wives have also disappeared to “an unknown location.”
They were seized so suddenly that their fellow activists thought they were still at home under protracted house arrest. They soon discovered that the Moussavi and Karroubi residences were dark and deserted and their families nowhere to be seen. The guards were also gone.
The dreaded “top security” Parchin prison is reserved for the regime’s boldest political and ideological dissidents, as well spies accused of threatening Iranian state security and foreign captives of the regime. According to reliable intelligence sources, the Israeli navigator captured in Lebanon 25 years ago and abducted to Iran was held at Parchin prison and never seen again. So too was the American Robert Levinson, who was arrested four years ago on a trip to Kish Island, although the Iranians deny they know what happened to him.
Situated almost next door to Iran’s most secret nuclear laboratories, the prison’s vicinity is one of the most heavily guarded sections of Tehran.
Before the arrests, large numbers of security and special forces agents cordoned off entire blocks and placed guards armed with anti-riot gear along the streets through which the opposition leaders were driven to the prison. Their wives were taken with them but their whereabouts have not been established.
Our sources have learned that when they were unloaded in the prison forecourt, the two men could not stand unaided and their faces were streaked with blood.
Our sources report Moussavi and Karroubi must have been seriously weakened by enforced hunger while still at home. They and their wives were not allowed to shop for food and obliged to eat food supplied by their guards. They refused for fear of poison. Their children and other relatives sent many letters to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressing deep concern about their state of health and complaining that they were barred from visiting them, but were never answered.
March 1 is Mousavi’s 69th birthday and the two leaders’ followers are preparing to launch broad demonstrations in Tehran and other cities to protest the cruel mistreatment they are suffering at the Islamic regime’s hands. The authorities plan to crack down on their protest with their habitual harshness, encouraged – the Iranian opposition movement is convinced – by the Obama administration’s failure to take action strong enough to save their leaders.
Its activists were asking this week how come Western leaders are so ready to push for Muammar Qaddafi’s ouster and offer the Libyan opposition every assistance, when Ayatollah Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rate no more than a slap on the wrist for the savage repression they mete out at the slightest expression of dissent. They point to the orchestrated demands coming from regime extremists in the last ten days for the two opposition leaders to be hanged, including a collective call from 200 deputies of the Iranian parliament.