Thursday, August 20, 2009

Jewish teenage protester to face trial in Iran

A Jewish teenager is among 25 post-electoral protesters being put on trial by the Iranian regime, Haaretz reports (with thanks: Lily):

Iran put on trial Sunday 25 more activists and opposition supporters, including a Jewish teenager, for their alleged involvement in the post-election turmoil.

The prosecutor began the trial with a general indictment for all 25 defendants, accusing them of plotting the post-election turmoil years ahead of time, said the state news agency.

During the trial, authorities played a film showing attacks on public property, cars and a mosque by protesters.

Earlier this month Iran held two other court sessions for more than 100 reformist politicians and activists accused of attempting to overthrow Iran's Islamic system. Protests erupted after many believe President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the June 12 elections through fraud.

The hard-line semi-official Fars news agency reported one of the people on trial belongs to Iran's tiny Jewish community.

Yaghoghil Shaolian, 19, was quoted as saying he did not join the protests, but just threw some stones at a bank branch in central Tehran on June 14, resulting in his arrest.

The report said lawyer of Shaolian asked the court for a reasonable and fair prosecution due to Shaolian's youth.

Iran's sole Jewish parliamentarian, Siamak Mereh Sedq, confirmed the detention of Shaolian and his Jewish identity to The Associated Press.

"I have been pursuing his case since we learned about his detention," said Mereh Sedq. He said Shaolian's detention was not related to his religion.

"He is innocent, we hope to see his release soon based on Islamic mercy," he said.

Shaolian's trial is the first time a Jew has been tried in Iran since 2000 when 13 Jews were charged with spying for Israel.

Read article in full

1 comment:

Arieh Perecowicz said...

Particularly in the wake of Canada’s sponsorship of a resolution in the United Nations on Iran’s deplorable human rights record I request, that the Canadian government uses its good offices to intervene on behalf and monitor the conditions and trial of Mr. Yaghoghil Shaolian, an Iranian national, who was picked up and falsely imprisoned on trumped up charges, and risks arbitrary severe punishment, or even death, such as Delara Darabi, recently executed. His predicament, as a member of Iran’s small and vulnerable Jewish community, is most precarious, and urgently requires Canada’s and the international community’s protest and intervention.
Will Canada – together with our allies and international partners – intervene to monitor his conditions of detention, his trial, provide legal assistance, and otherwise protect the life of this innocent Iranian citizen?