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British FM calls for release of Iranian opposition leaders

LONDON, Feb 13 (KUNA) -- British Foreign Secretary William Hague called Monday for the immediate release of Iranian opposition leaders.
In a terse statement, Hague said "It is now a year since Iranian opposition leaders Mirhossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi were placed under house arrest along with their wives, Zahra Rahnavard and Fatemah Karroubi".
On February 15, 2011, members of the Iranian Parliament called for their execution on allegations of spurious political offences, it added.
"Iran has repeatedly ignored calls from the international community for their immediate release," the minister noted.
Today they all remain in detention without charge, with the exception of Fatemah Karroubi. They are only allowed fleeting and usually supervised contact with their children, the statement said.
"Iran has claimed this is for their own safety, but it is clearly a cynical attempt to silence their voices and those of their supporters," the statement added.
"I call again for their immediate release. Freedom of expression and assembly are universal and inalienable rights that lie at the heart of progressive societies and I condemn Iran's continued attempts to suppress these rights," he stressed.(end) he.mao KUNA 132106 Feb 12NNNN