RFL/RE – A long-running child sexual abuse scandal, reaching the inner circle of Iran’s Supreme Leader, shows no sign of ebbing.
Several relatives of the young students, who have filed a legal suit against Saeed Toosi, one of Islamic Republic’s best-known Quran reciters, have written a letter to 16 MPs calling for help, a Tehran’s pro-reformist parliamentarian said.
Tousi is believed to be ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s close companion and favorite Qoran reciter to the extent that he was assigned to train Khamenei’s son, mid-ranking clergy, Mojtaba, as well.
In an interview with pro-reformist daily Sharq on Tuesday, January 30, Mahmoud Sadeghi announced that the relatives of those, who have accused the renowned Quran reciter, Saeed Toosi of child sexual abuse, have written a letter to him, as well as to fifteen other reformist and conservative members of parliament, demanding their help for following up a legal case filed against Saeed Toosi.
The relatives found out that an unknown judge ruled in favor of Toosi in secret, letting off the hook. They then appealed to members of parliament.
After his own investigation Sadeghi confirmed on January 26 that the Appeals Court has acquitted Toosi, who had been charged with spreading corruption and obscenity and sentenced to four years by a lower court.
However, Sadeghi has admitted that after the appeal of victims’ families none of the MPs have taken the request seriously.
“They say they do not have enough time to look into such cases; therefore, my duty towards people of my constituency has become much heavier than before’” Sadeghi reiterated.
Without mentioning the date of the letter, Sadeghi has disclosed that fathers of two of the plaintiffs attended a session of parliament’s Principle 90 Commission two weeks ago and called the members of the commission to help them in their legal fight against the Quran recital teacher.
Based on Sharq’s report the fathers of the two have also met with the deputies for parliamentary affairs of the Islamic Propagation Organization and judiciary.
“Two weeks ago, the families [of allegedly victims of Saeed Toosi] contacted us and said that a branch of the Court of Appeal has issued its verdict on the case,” Sadeghi revealed, adding, “They were shocked and astonished. We followed it up and, interestingly, found out that, while the file was not at the Appeals Court’s branch, the judge had indeed issued a verdict.”.
Sadeghi has tried to help the families of Tossi’s students in recent months, by publicizing parliament’s involvement with the issue.
In October 2016, Voice of America’s Persian service shed light on Toosi’s case in which he was accused of sexually abusing nineteen of his prepubescent Qur’an students over the past years (four plaintiffs are confirmed). It is yet unknown whether the charges included homosexual rape, which could carry the death penalty.
The anonymous plaintiffs claimed that their legal complaints were deliberately covered up or ignored by the authorities to protect the reputation of the Islamic Republic’s regime.
Toosi issued a denial rejecting all the claims, which he called “total lies”. The allegations were “aimed at discrediting the state’s religious foundations and its supreme leader, ayatollah Ali Khamenei,” Toosi maintained. He also insisted he had never been engaged in “such sins” and “actions incompatible with chastity.”
The spokesman for the judiciary, Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, said there was “insufficient evidence” to investigate the abuse claims.
Referring to the announcement, Sadeghi has lamented, “It appears that the child molester Quran reciter is enjoying the support of individual(s) who have infiltrated the Supreme Leader’s office.
Retaliating to such comments, in an interview with EnsafNews, Toosi denied that there had been any influence behind his acquittal.
Mohammad Gandomnejad Tousi, widely known as Saeed Toosi is one of the most prominent Quran reciters in the Islamic Republic and his Quranic recitals at important state ceremonies such as parliament inauguration indicates to the importance of his position.