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Iranian Opposition Cleric Karrubi Hospitalized For Second Time

Iranian opposition figure Mehdi Karrubi has been hospitalized for a second time in a week due to a heart condition, his wife said.

Karrubi's wife, Fatemeh Karrubi, told the semiofficial ILNA news agency on July 31 that her husband had been transferred to the coronary unit of a Tehran hospital after having tests done.

She said doctors don't think it's safe for him to undergo open-heart surgery.

Karrubi, 79, a former parliament speaker who has been under house arrest since 2011 without being charged, was also briefly hospitalized on July 25 due to heart problems.

Karrubi's relatives say his health problems have been caused by his long detention.

Karrubi, along with opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi and his wife, Zahra Rahnavard, were placed under house arrest in February 2011 for challenging the establishment over the disputed 2009 presidential vote and also for highlighting human rights abuses.

Musavi and Rahnavard are also suffering from health problems, their daughters have said.

Rights groups have repeatedly called for the release of the three opposition figures.

The reports of the deterioration in Mehdi Karrubi's health, after the deliberate and cruel interruptions in his medical care by intelligence officials, are deeply alarming, said Amnesty International's deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, Magdalena Mughrabi.

Mughrabi said in a July 31 statement that it is high time that Iranian authorities end their unjust treatment of Karrubi, as well as Musavi and Rahnavard.

All three have been unjustly deprived of their liberty in a chilling illustration of Iran's zero-tolerance approach to political dissent, Mughrabi added.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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