Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Karroubi's office is shut down by Tehran prosecutor

The office of Mehdi Karroubi, opposition leader and head of the Etemad Melli (National Trust) Party, was shut down today, September 8, on orders of Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi.

The party's spokesman, Esmail Gerami Moghaddam, told the Iranian Labor News Agency, that government agents had come to the office, situated in Tehran's Jamshidiyeh district, around 3 PM and presented 'the honorable prosecutor's warrant.'

The move appears to dash any hopes that the opposition may have harbored about the relative leniency of the new Tehran prosecutor after he replaced the notoriously hard-line Saeed Mortazavi.

'The government agents began collecting documents, CDs, computers, and films,' according to Gerami Moghaddam. Karroubi has loudly denounced the abuse and deaths of protesters and has offered to provide judicial authorities with audio, video, and documentary evidence that he has compiled.

Karroubi's son, Hossein, told Radio Farda that documents are also stored in other places. 'So it's not as if they have taken all the documents by closing this office,' he told the Persian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Yesterday, security forces confiscated equipment, documents, and a laptop computer at the offices of the committee set up by Mir Hossein Mousavi and Karroubi to investigate the deaths and abuse of protesters. The committee spokesman, Alireza Behshti, told Saham News, 'Yesterday, agents had an appointment to come to the office, supposedly to ask some questions about various issues. But when they got there, they pulled out a warrant.'

Gerami Moghaddam told BBC Persian that the agents interrogated Karroubi and his visitors, before escorting them out of the building.

The editor of the Etemad Melli web site was arrested during the search, according to Gerami Moghaddam.

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