Newsletter, Parastou Forouhar, 24.08.2001

I am writing to you in order to inform you about the further developments of the investigations relating to the political assassinations in Iran in the autumn of 1998. My parents, Dariush and Parvaneh Forouhar, both opposition politicians in Iran, are among the victims. The consternation and sustained protests that emerged as a result of these crimes both domestically and abroad have made the investigation into these crimes a symbol of the persistent struggle for constitutionality in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

As you already know the investigations conducted by the Military Prosecuting Service into the backgrounds and perpetrators of the crimes left out several important points and this is why we, the relatives of the victims, chose not to recognise the trial and not to take part in it. In my letter to you from the 7th of November 2000 I listed the dubious deficiencies in the record. The court delivered sentences on the 27th of January 2001 that ignored the political status of the murders as many had expected.
We, the family members, turned to the Parliament and brought a written indictment to the “Commission for Article 90 of the German constitution”. Consequently we were invited to be heard twice. Various members of the commission, as well as other absent parliamentarians, promised us their support. They expressed their criticism at the work of the judiciary up to now in this case, but also pointed out their limited influence over the judiciary system.  The entire file was passed over for review to the next highest body, the High Court of Justice in this instance, following the announcement of the verdicts. On the 18th of August 2001 it was officially announced that the High Court had overturned the verdicts and had declared the proceedings as “inadequate”. The file was sent back to the Military Prosecution Service for revision. So far no information regarding the arguments the High Court used in rejecting the proceedings and its results has been made public. 

This new situation represents the one chance to uncover what really happened, if the judiciary deals seriously with the issues of backgrounds and perpetrators of the political assassinations of the autumn of 1998. Any response from your side that lends emphatic weight to the situation represents important support for us, as well as the innumerable people in Iran who hope for democracy and constitutionality. 

Yours sincerely,
Parastou Forouhar