1 Mar 2011

Leading opposition figures go missing in Iran

3:55 pm on 1 March 2011

Human rights groups in Iran have called for the release of two leading opposition figures who have apparently been taken from their homes in Tehran by security forces.

Mir Houssein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi had been under house arrest for calling for rallies in solidarity with the uprising in Egypt.

Now they and their wives have gone missing, the BBC reports. A website close to Mr Mousavi says they have been taken to Heshmatiyeh jail in Tehran but Iranian authorities deny that.

One of Mr Karroubi's sons told the BBC he had been told his father had been "taken by security forces to an unspecified location".

A neighbour says he saw eight security vans outside the politician's home late on Thursday night. Shortly afterwards the vans left the area, along with one car, he says.

Thousands of supporters of Mr Mousavi and Mr Karroubi took to the streets of Tehran on 14 February, amid clashes with security forces.

About 1500 people have been detained, opposition groups say, but official figures put the number at 150.

Following the deadly clashes, Iranian MPs called for the two opposition leaders to be tried and executed.