The Islamic republic of Iran is eating up its own children.
How far, how much, how long?
Mr Mir-Hossein Mousavi, Iran's former prime minister of 8 years, especially during the Iran-Iraq war and the official presidential candidate, and his wife, Zahra Rahnavard, university professor, sculpturer and outspoken political figure; Mehdi Karubi, former speaker of parliament and official presidential candidate and his wife Fatemeh Karubi, a distinguished social figure within the Islamic republic aparatus until recently had both were put under house arrest from February 14 until a few days ago. Mr Mousavi's house which was located in the security zone near the supreme leader's residence was unaccesible by an iron gate which was erected infront of it. Mr Karubi's house was grenade-bombed, windows broken and then ransaked. One of his sons was taken away while the other is in hiding.
It is now understood that both couples have been taken away from their residences in the middle of the night last Thursday amid extraordinary security precautions. No one knows where they had been taken and indeed if they are still alive. Apart from these two men who are devout Muslims and believers of the Islamic regime and had been part of the main skeleton of it for the past 30 years, the two women, Zahra Rahnavard and Fatemeh Karubi were strong influential women in their own right.
Rahanvard was the Dean of Alzahra university for many years. As a sculprurer, her famous piece, Mother, decorates one of Tehran's main Squares, Mohseni. In recent years, she taught at the university while becoming increasingly an outspoken political figure and the backbone of her husband's political campaigns for presidency and as the symobilic figure-head of the Green movement of Iran.
Fatemeh Karubi, once the president of the famous Martyres' hospital worked relentlessly behind the fronts in the war years.
Both these women who are in their sixties are now in detention in an unknown place while they suffered all types of abuse and pressure after the disputed presidential elections in which Ahamdinejad won through an election-coup.
While Iran's prisons are full to the capacity, people are detained indiscriminately in peaceful demonstrat5ions and sent away to unknown places. However, the transfer of these four figures from their homes is very unusual though not unexpected but very worrying, especially for their close families.
While the whole of the Middle East and North Africa with dictators similar to that of Iran is shaking with the tremours of uprisings and fall to the people one after the other, the final fate of the Iranian regime is not difficult to predict. However, the extentg of brutality of this regime cannot be compared with any, even Qadafi as he hired mercenaries to kill the Libyan people but the Iranian regime is training Iranians to kill their own people.
On the eve of the 8 of March, International Women's Day, we urge all women throughout the world to raise their voices against the brutalities of the Iranian regime and demand the release of Zahra Rahnavard and Fatemeh Karubi and their husbands from prison.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.