The Iranian Green Movement refers to a political movement that arose after the 2009 Iranian presidential election, in which protesters demanded the removal of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from office. Green was initially used as the symbol of Mir Hossein Mousavi's campaign, but after the election it became the symbol of unity and hope for those asking for annulment of what they regarded as a fraudulent election. Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi are recognized as political leaders of the Green Movement. Hossein-Ali Montazeri was also mentioned as spiritual leader of the movement. The Green Movement protests were a major event in Iran's modern political history and observers claimed that protests were the largest since the Iranian Revolution of 1978-1979.
The protests began the night of 12 June 2009, following the announcement that incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had won nearly 60 percent despite several reported irregularities. Despite the relative peaceful nature of the protests, the police and the Basij (a paramilitary group) suppressed them by using batons, pepper spray, sticks and, in some cases, firearms; the most widely known victim was Neda Agha-Soltan, who was shot and her last moments were uploaded to YouTube and was broadcast around the world. Opposition groups have also reported that thousands more have been arrested and tortured in prisons around the country, with former inmates alleging mass rape of men, women by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in prisons such as Kahrizak and Evin.