The Union of Jewish Congregations of America today decries the Iranian Judiciary’s ruling which failed to free the 10 Iranian Jews imprisoned nineteen months ago under false charges of espionage. While the results of the appeal reduced the prisoners’ sentences, the OU continues to press for the release of these ten innocent Jews.
Betty Ehrenberg, OU Director of International and Communal Affairs, said “While we view positively the steps taken to reduce the harsh prison terms of the Iran 10 by two to six years, we believe nevertheless in their innocence and will continue to fight for the release of these Jews. These harsh jail sentences are completely undeserved. Wrongly imprisoned on trumped-up charges of espionage, the Iran 10 have suffered for nineteen months in a Shiraz jail after being convicted in a show trial to which no witnesses were admitted. No specific charges were ever presented and the coerced confessions were extracted under duress.
“While the outcry against this injustice has attracted international concern, Iran’s government refuses to act with fairness towards the unjustly imprisoned Jews. Though Iran wishes to be accepted into the company of civilized nations, she stubbornly refuses to demonstrate tolerance to all religious minorities. We again call on President Khatami and Supreme Leader Khomeini to act in the name of humanity and compassion and to immediately release these innocent Jews.
“The Orthodox Union will continue its efforts in concert with other organizations, human rights groups and international bodies to work for the release for the Iran 10. We implore our government not to grant any concessions or ease sanctions against Iran until justice is done. We remain concerned for the security of the entire Iranian Jewish community and ask that no one be silent until the Iran 10 are free.”