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September 10, 2006

But this is not Pinochet……..

Filed under: Iran, Islam, Left, Media, Terror, USA — limewoody @ 7:01 am

Law suit alleges visiting Iranian President implemented anti-Semitic policy
of torture and imprisonment

Seven Jewish-Iranian families have filed suit in an American federal court
against former President Mohammad Khatami over charges that he is
responsible for the kidnapping and torture of their missing family members.
The families, currently residing in Los Angeles and Israel, contend that
Khatami instituted the policy of imprisoning their relatives without
trials and refusing to provide them any information concerning their
whereabouts. The Jews were arrested on different occasions during the years
1994 through 1997, as they sought to leave Iran across its border with
Pakistan.

The plaintiffs, who are not U.S. citizens, brought the suit under special
laws – the Alien Torts Act and the Torture Victims Protection Act – which
permit foreigners to sue their tormentors for torture and kidnapping in
American courts. The lawsuit filed in the New York District Court is being
represented by attorneys Robert Tolchin of New York, Nitsana
Darshan-Leitner of Jerusalem and Pooya Dayanim of Los Angeles. The
plaintiffs are seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages against
Khatami for his role in the on-going disappearance of their loved ones.

The families had to wait until Khatami was physically present in the US to
initiate a suit against him. On Friday evening copies of the complaint and
summons were handed to Khatami at a reception in Arlington, Virginia hosted
by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Khatami has twenty days to
file an answer denying the allegations or default the case.

Since the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979, millions of Iranian citizens
have sought to escape from the Islamic regime. In normal circumstances when
Muslim citizens are arrested attempting to leave without official
permission, the established punishment is a small fine or a short jail term.
However, in the instances where Jewish citizens have been similarly
arrested, the Islamic government has instituted much harsher penalties.
The Plaintiffs allege that Khatami has singled out the Jewish community and
implemented the policy of secretly imprisoning the Jews indefinitely.

Over the years, the Jewish families have received reports from other former
prisoners and guards that the missing Jews are alive and being held in
different prisons. In the case of the Tehrani family of Los Angeles, a
former Muslim neighbor has sworn out an affidavit testifying that he has
seen their missing son, Babak Tehrani, in a Tehran prison two years after
his disappearance.

“These Persian Jewish families are seeking to bring Khatami before an
American court for his involvement in the torture and imprisonment of their
loved ones in Iran,” stated the families’ attorney
Nitsana-Darshan-Leitner, “It is shocking that the State Department would
grant this anti-Semitic criminal a travel visa instead of joining with the
families in the struggle to bring him to justice. The court case will
establish that these missing Jews are, indeed, still alive in Iranian
prisons and that the former President violated international law with his
policy of arrests and torture which targeted the Jewish community.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND A COPY OF THE COMPLAINT:

(972) 03-736-1519

email: info@israellawcenter.org

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