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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 1, 2000


I am deeply disturbed by the verdicts handed down in the trial of the 13 Jewish Iranians accused of espionage. International human rights organizations, the Special Rapporteur on Iran for the United Nations Human Rights Commission, the United States and many other nations have denounced the seriously flawed judicial process by which these sentences were determined. The proceedings have been rightly criticized around the world for their failure to accord due process of law to the defendants.

We have raised our concerns time and again, when the Iranian government has treated intellectuals, journalists, Muslim clerics and members of the Baha'i community with the same fundamental unfairness. We are deeply disappointed that the Iranian government has again failed to act as a society based on the rule of law, to which the Iranian people aspire.

We call upon the government of Iran to remedy the failings of these procedures immediately and overturn these unjust sentences. We will continue to engage with other interested governments and organizations as part of our broader concern for the treatment of minority groups and human rights in Iran.