01/14/2020, 10.02
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Iranian authorities arrest the son of the Green Wave leader. New protests in Tehran

Hossein Karoubi was arrested two days after his father, also under arrest for criticizing the supreme guide.  For the third consecutive day in Tehran and Isfahan, in the south, young people in the square against the shooting down of the Ukrainian plane.  UN secretary general spokesman calls the reports of violence "worrying".


Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Iranian authorities have arrested Hossein Karoubi, son of Mahdi Karoubi, one of the leaders of the Green Wave pro-democracy movement, who has also been arrested (again) in recent days.  Meanwhile, for the third consecutive day, street protests were against the shooting down of the Ukrainian airliner took place in Tehran and in other cities of the country. The airliner was hit by a missile launched by the Pasdaran and which resulted in the death of 176 people.

According to the Sahamnews website, Hossein was arrested two days after his father, who had been under house arrrest since 2011 . Mahdi, opposition leader in charge of the Green Wave, ran for the 2009 presidential election together with Hossein Mousavi for the reformist wing.  The elections, which are suspected of episodes of fraud, were then won by the conservative candidate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, triggering violent street protests.

Following the defeat, the reformist Mousavi ended up under arrest without formal charges or trial.  Two days ago the last arrest of Karoubi, for having publicly asked for the resignation of the supreme guide, the great Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, for the mismanagement of the story of the downed aircraft.  In a note circulated online, he allegedly turned to the highest political and religious office in the Islamic Republic, asking for explanations on the "delay" in information regarding the tragedy.

Yesterday the news came of the arrest of father and son.  Hossein is Mahdi's eldest son and three years ago he had spent about six months in prison for "propaganda against the regime".

Meanwhile, yesterday, for the third consecutive day, the young people of the capital gathered around the universities and marched through the streets in the direction of Azadi (freedom) square.  The protest doesn't seem to stop, despite attempts to quell discontent by the police and security forces (Basj).  Local witnesses report new charges and tear gas launches.  Some videos posted online also show the use of bullets and firearms; which has been strongly denied by authorities.

At present it is not possible to draw a complete picture of the protest and the extent of the response of the authorities due to the restrictions on independent media.  However, videos continue to circulate showing hundreds of demonstrators on the streets of the cities of Tehran and Isfahan in the south, chanting slogans and songs including "To hell with the religious".

The spokesman of the UN secretary general Antonio Guterres also referred to unconfirmed rumors of violence.  In a note released yesterday, Stephane Dujarric defines the stories of violence against demonstrators as "worrying", and once again underlines the "right to freedom of expression and association" of a people who meet in a "peaceful" way.

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