Dec 31, 2009

How About Our Iranian Brethren?

We have been urged to pray for Jonathan Pollard, for the boys in Japan, for Gilad Shalit and other missing Israeli soldiers, and Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin. How about our Iranian brethren?

The missing Jews are (add 12-15 years to the stated ages) :

Babak Shaoulin Tehrani, 17, of Tehran and Shaheen Nikkhou, 18, of Tehran arrested on June 8, 1994

Kamran Salari, 21, of Kermanshah and Farhad Ezzati, 21, of Kermanshah arrested September 21, 1994

Homayoon Balazadeh, 45, of Shiraz and Omid Solouki, 15, of Shiraz, Reuben Kohen-Masliakh,17 and Avrohom Kohen-Masliakh, 16, brothers from Shiraz, arrested on December 8, 1994

Nourollah (Nuriel) Rabizadeh-Felfeli, age unknown, of Kermanshah and Cyrus, 42 and Avraham, 47 Ghahramani (Kaharmany), brothers from Kermanshah, arrested on February 12, 1997

A 12th Jew, Yitzhak Hassid, 59, of Hamadan, last spoke with his sister in February 1997 and reportedly indicated he would try to leave the country. He disappeared February 15, 1997.

Between 1994 and 1997, 11 Jews, at the time ranging from 15 years of age to 59, were detained while attempting to cross the border from Iran into Pakistan seeking to be reunited with their families and in hopes of finding a secure future and a life of freedom. In addition, in February 1997, a Jewish businessman living in Tehran disappeared while visiting a provincial capital and has not been heard from since. The families of the disappeared have been virtually unable to get any information from the authorities as to the whereabouts of their loved ones.

Several eyewitnesses (former Iranian intelligence officials who are now living in the West) claim they have seen some of the missing in Iranian jails and others in a detention center, but to date nothing has been substantiated. Several years ago, two credible Iranian officials privately assured a family member in Iran that the men were alive and had been transported to a prison in Tehran. To date, no new information has emerged

In September 2006, Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of the Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center and New York Attorney Robert Tolchin, representing the families of the 12 missing Iranian Jews, filed a lawsuit against former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami.

The families of the 12 Jews in question say their loved ones were arrested by Iranian security authorities in the 1990s as they sought to escape from Iran across the border with Pakistan. At least some of them are believed to still be in Iranian prison. The Iranians have never acknowledged the Jews' arrest, nor have they given any word on their status or whereabouts.

Attorney Darshan-Leitner: "These individuals attempted to come to Israel at the encouragement and with the assistance of the Israeli government. It is therefore the responsibility of the Israeli government to do everything it can to gain reliable, specific information regarding their whereabouts in order to save them if we can, and give closure and end the suffering of the wives, children, fathers and mothers of those who were murdered by the Islamic Republic."

To do otherwise, the lawyer stated, means that the 12 Iranian Jews "have been abandoned.

If the prisoners were killed, we need to know and we need the bodies, the graves. There are women who are agunos for 16 years! Children are waiting for their fathers. These children were teenagers when their fathers disappeared; they remember them and are waiting for them to come back. There is no grave for them to go to; they can't say Kaddish. If we'd get the information these women wouldn't be agunos; they could be compensated by Israel for being widows of harugei malchut, people killed al kiddush Hashem.

Compiled with online information and with thanks to Mishpacha magazine for bringing this to our attention.

1 comment:

  1. B'h
    Sadly that is human nature, and yes we should be caring about them too!