The RCA and Orthodox Union Urge the Release of 13 Iranian Jews Arrested

Posted on June 10, 1999 In Press Releases

The Rabbinical Council of America and Orthodox Union in a joint commission urged the government of Iran to release 13 Iranian Jews arrested on the eve of Passover. Both as a fulfillment of the precept of Pidyon Shevuyim, redemption of captives — a precept which is of primary import in Judaism — and as an extension of human rights initiatives, we ask for the release of these people.

The accused individuals have never had any connection with espionage or the intelligence community and should be granted their civil rights. We ask that all initiatives possible be taken on a diplomatic front by the U.N., the United States, The European Union, Israel and all the people of good faith to effect their release. We call upon clergy of all faiths, particularly on those with influence in the Moslem world, to reunite these individuals in peace and safety with their families.

Community rabbis are asked to please say special prayers this Shabbat on their behalf.

The detainees names (as reported by world media):

Navid Balazadeh, 16
Nejat Beroukhim, 35
Farhad Seleh, 30
Shahrokh Paknahad, 29
Ramin Farzam, 35
Farzad Kashi, 30
Faramarz Kashi, 34 (brother of above)
Aasher Zadmehr (aka Shekasteh Band), 48
Nasser Yaghoub Levy Haim (Leveeim), 45
Javeed Beit Yaghoub, 40
Ramin Nemati, possibly 22
Danny Tefileen, possibly 28
Omid Tefileen, possibly 25 (brother of above).