Tehran, Feb 8, IRNA -- A pro-reform Iranian party raised "regret and
surprise" Thursday over the reaction to a criticizing letter by a
special parliamentary committee of the Judiciary Head Ayatollah
Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi. Last Thursday, Shahroudi denounced
reformist MPs, saying they weakened parliament by defending
"westernized" journalists and other liberals.
In an open letter to Shahroudi, the Islamic Revolution Mujahideen
Organization said, "Unexpectedly, while all were awaiting to hear
expert responses, the highest judicial official reacted politically
which did not befit him."
It attacked the judiciary's half-hearted handling of the case
against the dissident activist Ezzatollah Sahabi and the student
leader Ali Afshari, both jailed on similar charges. "... It's not
clear where they are and under what conditions they are held."
Afshari went missing some 15 days after being sent into
"temporary" confinement for a campus speech he made after his return
from Germany last year. Students say hardliners in the judiciary want
him to "confess".
Last week, Shahroudi wrote to the majlis, "MPs should promote
Islamic values before the concerns of a limited number of Westernized
people." He accused the MPs of "lowering the moral prestige" of the
His letter came in response to a January 24 letter from 150
reformist MPs expressing their "deep concern" over "the illegal
actions" of the judiciary, citing crackdowns on the reformist press
and legal action against liberal deputies.
The conservative-dominated courts have been running an offensive
against the reformist movement headed by President Mohammad Khatami.
Some 20 publications have been suspended and 10 journalists jailed
for various professional offenses.
In the meantime, the head of Tehran's justice administration
Abbasali Alizadeh accused the MPs of acting as "spokesmen for
criminals" by criticizing judges' treatment of jailed reformers.
"We are afraid that the repetition of the claims (by reformist
MPs) has turned them into spokesmen for a group of suspects and
criminals," he said in an open letter to the speaker of parliament
... Payvand News - 2/9/01 ... --