Fatemeh Karroubi – „Intermittent Siege of Karroubi’s Residence Continues“
Wednesday November 24th, 2010 – In an interview with Roozonline Fatemeh Karroubi , Mehdi Karroubi’s wife, described the arbitrary presence of security forces outside their residence as a form of „intermittent siege“ of her residence.
Fatemeh Karroubi a former member of the parliament said „Sometimes even on normal days, our house is under siege by security forces who prevent individuals from entering our residence. The presence of the security forces is unfortunately not only limited to holidays and religious ceremonies.“
Mrs. Karroubi added: „Contrary to the claims by security officials that the individuals who had attacked Mr. Karroubi’s residence on Ghadr and Eide Fitr had been dealt with accordingly, in reality these individuals were not reprimanded or dealt with in any manner.“
Saham News, an official news outlet for The National Trust Party (Etemad Meli) reported that security forces were present both last week and once again as of yesterday outside Mehdi Karroubi’s residence, preventing people from entering Karroubi’s residence. It is worth mentioning that this incident is a continuation of increased restrictions on Karroubi in the past several months which have included preventing friends and family members, the families of the war heroes Martyrs Baakeri and Hemmat and prominent religious figures such as Grand Ayatollah Bayat Zanjani from entering his residence
.Karroubi’s Residence under Siege by Intelligence Forces
Fatemeh Karroubi, Mehdi Karroubi’s wife and a member of the fifth parliament explained: „As of last week, a few nights prior to Eide Ghorban, security forces started gathering outside our residence and prevented people from entering our house for approximately four days. With the exception of our children, no one else was allowed to enter our residence. Two days later they came again. Even though their behavior is not as aggressive as it used to be, they nevertheless won’t allow anyone to come and see us.“
In response to whether or not the presence of security forces is limited to holidays and religious events and as a result of their fear that Mr. Karroubi might participate in demonstrations related to these events, Mrs. Karroubi said: „No it is not the case. The security forces arrived for example a few days before Eide Ghorban and remained until a few days after. They also show up on normal days. Their presence is not limited to holidays and religious events.The only difference is that on those particular days they increase their presence.“
Mrs. Karroubi added: „The other day they even prevented Mr. Tahmasebi, the head of Karroubi’s office who has worked with him for years to enter our house. On that particular day, only our sons were allowed to visit us.“
We asked Mrs. Karroubi if the presence of the security forces and the fact that they do not allow anyone to enter their residence is a form of „intermittent siege“ of their residence.
She responds: „Yes, exactly. I believe it is a form of „on and off siege“, because it is not limited to religious holidays. They even surround our residence on normal days and prevent people from visiting with Karroubi. One day they leave us alone and the next day they are here again.“
When asked why Mr. Karroubi who continues to protest the results of the rigged elections last June, is being treated this way, Mrs. Karroubi responds „What can I say? This is a question you need to pose to the gentlemen themselves and ask them what their goal is and why they behave in this manner. What is there to say when they even stop the head of Karroubi’s office from entering his house?“ According to Mrs. Karroubi, the individuals who are surrounding her house are members of the Intelligence Forces.
Mrs. Karroubi, editor of the banned publication „Irandokht“ told Roozonline:„The presence of security forces outside our residence, the siege of our house, the intimidation and vilification against Mehdi Karroubi will have no effect on his determination to follow up on the issues that are pertinent to the citizens of our country. Mr. Karroubi’s only crime is that he has stated that we must prevent rape and torture from taking place in our prisons. Thank God they realized what was going on and finally stopped these incidents from occurring and even accepted the atrocities and crimes that took place at Kahrizak. Mr. Karroubi’s crime is exactly that and we continue to stand by him. These tactics have no effect what so ever on our resolve.“
Who should we complain to?
Previously in March of last year more than 50 plain clothes agents, including a number of women gathered outside Mehdi Karroubi’s residence shouting out slogans against him, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Seyed Mohammad Khatami, demanding that the government deal with them accordingly.
The pictures and videos that were published on the internet of the incident at the time demonstrated that the attackers had not only defaced the walls of the building with slogans, but had splashed red paint all over the multi-storied complex. At the time Mrs. Karroubi stated that the attackers had attempted to vandalize and destroy the building.
The news outlets and websites associated with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad referred to these thugs chanting slogans outside Mr. Karroubi’s residence as supporters of Ahmadinejad and Khamenei, referring to them as a „group of families of war veterans and martyrs“, stating that their actions were „spontaneous“ and in protest against the „heads of the sedition“. However, Saham News, an official news agency for The National Trust Party (Etemad Meli) wrote a piece at the time referring to these individuals as „thugs“ engaging in unacceptable behavior and ordered by the ruling government.
The worst form of attack on the residence of Mehdi Karroubi, a protesting member of the clergy, took place on the night of Ghods and after Eide Fitr when his residence was under siege by plain clothes agents for approximately 5 days, the head of his security personnel ended up being hospitalized and his residence was vandalized. At the time of the siege, Mrs Karroubi spoke to Roozonline stating that plain clothes agents and basijis using tear gas, batons and weapons had surrounded her residence and even though security forces were present, they were mere spectators and had not interfered or stopped the events from occurring.
It was after this incident that Sajedinia, Tehran’s police chief stated that 100 individuals had been identified as being involved in the attacks on Mehdi Karroubi’s residence and that they were awaiting court orders in order to arrest these individuals. A number of news agencies even reported that two individuals were arrested in relation to these attacks, but Fatemeh Karroubi’s response regarding this issue was as follows: „We are still waiting to see if they will act upon their claims to deal with the plain clothes agents who brutally attacked our residence. To date, we have seen no action what so ever from the security officials and the judiciary. Once they said they would arrest 100 individuals. Another time, they said something different. Regardless, no action was taken by these gentlemen. The only thing that has happened is that our residence is once again surrounded by security forces. This time they are members of the intelligence forces and their behavior is not as aggressive as those who were here on Eide Fitr.“ Mrs. Karroubi added: „The events that took place outside our residence were unprecedented in the history of the Islamic Republic. We had never before witnessed this form of insults and vandalization of an individuals residence.“
In response to question of whether they had followed up on these incidents with the judiciary, Mrs. Karroubi stated: „How should we follow up on these incidents? Whom should we complain to? The police and security forces were present outside our residence when these incidents took place and did absolutely nothing to prevent them from happening. Where shall we take our complaint to? Normally, when the smallest incident occurs, such as when the window of a residence is broken, the police arrive immediately and intervene. In this incident however, they were present on the scene and stood idly as spectators. Under these circumstances what can we do? The only thing we are sure of is that God is present and will render his judgment in this world and that history is the best witness of their actions.“
In a previous conversation with Roozonline Mrs. Karroubi had stated: „The security forces did not react what so ever in response to the events that took place outside our residence. The thugs entered the building, used tear gas, fired bullets, shattered the water pipes, set the entrance on fire and through it all the security forces did nothing to stop them. These individuals were organized and must have taken their orders from some where. There behavior was not spontaneous and arbitrary. How is it possible that in a country thugs attack someones residence for 6 nights and no one does anything to stop them? Who had made it possible for them to behave this way? Where did they get the confidence to behave in such a manner? Who was behind their illegal actions? Even though Hossein Karroubi, Karroubi’s son identified some of the individuals present and informed Deutsche Welle that some of the attackers were members of the Jamaran Basiji forces and the Neighbourhood Martyrs Base, while others wearing masks belonged to the Farmanieh Police Station, to date there has been no news on whether or not these individuals have been prosecuted.“
In the past year and a half the restrictions by the ruling government on Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have increased manifold. Many elements within the ruling government have threatened to begin a judicial process against Mousavi Prime Minster during the sacred war and Karroubi former Head of the Parliament and to even arrest them. The latest of such threats came from Mohseni Eje’i the Speaker for the Judiciary who when responding to Mousavi’s latest statement said „If these types of individuals continue with their current actions, they will be dealt with accordingly.“