Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A member of Iran's quasi-parliamentary body, the Majlis, wrote on Twitter on Friday that individuals connected to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei improperly intervened to compel a court to acquit a leading Koran teacher who was charged with multiple cases of raping young boys and molestation.
Saeed Tousi, a leading Koran teacher employed by the Koran High Council, was acquitted by Tehran’s appeals court on January 26, according to a BBC Persian-language article.
BBC Persian wrote that Tousi confirmed to the British outlet "that he has been acquitted and denied reports that the office of the Supreme Leader had influenced the outcome in his case."
However, Mahmoud Sadeghi, an member of the Majlis, said Khamenei's office exerted pressure to force exoneration of Tousi. He wrote on Twitter that there was a "clear influence in the process of prosecution" and a "person or people" who "infiltrated" the office of Ayatollah Khamenei intervened to clear Tousi of the allegations.
Tousi faced charges that he assaulted 10 boys. One of the victims said Tousi sexually assaulted him when he was 12 years old in a public bath house.
"I was so shocked I couldn't understand what was going on," he said. "I was so afraid to say anything because of the shame it would bring upon my name, but then I found out that there were so many other cases among his students. So I broke my silence."
The victims lodged their complaints seven years ago.
Some of the victims committed suicide. Iran's judiciary is an opaque system that is based on Islamic Sharia law and, according to human rights groups, does not meet the standards of modern judicial bodes. Iran's regime executed 4,000-6,000 LGBTQ individuals since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, according to a British government dispatch published on Wikileaks.
According to a 2016 BBC article, "BBC Persian's interview with the alleged victims was viewed an unprecedented 400,000 times on its Telegram channel."
"Another shameful page in the history of the Islamic republic," wrote a user named Meysam, adding "People are being abused under the banner of religion... and no-one is going to be held accountable."
"If the victims had been girls, [the authorities] would've accused them of being dressed inappropriately and provocatively. And they would argue that the assault was understandable" wrote a user named Somayeh. The used added, "But in this case, the victims are men and the [alleged] abuser was a member of the Supreme Council of the Koran."
The US government sanctioned this month the current head of Iran's judiciary system, Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, for his role in human rights violations and the crackdown on Iranians protesting the clerical regime. Voice of America
broadcasted interviews in October in which a number of Tousi's alleged victims said Tousi had raped them.