Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi escalated his challenge to the government by making the unpopular claim that “establishment agents” raped and abused detainees after being arrested. He mocked the argument of prison authorities that a woman claiming to be raped had to produce four witnesses to the alleged rape. Mousavi further claimed officials were threatening detainees as well as offering bribes if they would recant on statements about being raped. “They were threatening detainees to keep silent.”
Mousavi made a forthright statement by insisting Islamic religious leaders had a responsibility to step in and halt this human abuse. “It is the main duty of revolutionary clergy to reflect the realities, but some have closed their eyes and ignored this responsibility.” However, he praised clergy who are speaking out about the horrors that were committed against innocent men and women who were arrested following June’s presidential election.
Many wonder why Mousavi is still allowed to speak out so forcibly. It may indicate there is a division of opinion within the Iranian leadershi as to the future of Ahmadinejad. Can the nation afford such a divisive leader?