July 20, 2000
‘Shiraz 10’ Update
In response to recent human rights violations perpetrated by the Iranian government, the House of Representatives passed an amendment brought to the floor by Congressman Brad Sherman during consideration of the foreign aid bill for fiscal year 2001. The amendment seeks to cut World Bank funding by $10 million to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Meanwhile, Esmail Nasseri, lead defense lawyer for nine of the "Shiraz 10," reports that Iranian prosecutors resorted to unlawful methods, essentially torture under Islamic law, to extract confessions from the convicted Jews. Nasseri also said the evidence brought by the prosecution was insufficient and that the Revolutionary Court had found the 10 guilty based on their confessions alone.
The head of the local judiciary denied the allegations, claiming that no undue pressure was employed.Nasseri, who is currently preparing to appeal the 71-page verdict, said he remains "optimistic."