Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
A class action lawsuit has been filed by an Iranian woman now living in Los Angeles whose brother was jailed and tortured to death by the regime of Muslim leaders in Iran, seeking in excess of $10 billion in damages.
The case was filed by Larry Klayman of FreedomWatchUSA.org on behalf of Nasrin Mohammadi, whose brother, Akbar, was a protester for freedom and rights during the 1990s.
According to the filing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Akbar Mohammadi was a student at the University of Tehran and was a critic of the Iranian regime. He was arrested during protrests that followed the closure of a reformist newspaper.
“The protests were non-violent, but this did not stop the Iranian police and government agents from using violence and force to disperse and punish the protesters. … Akbar was taken into custody,” the lawsuit explains.
“While in prison, Akbar was subjected to repeated bouts of torture and cruel and unusual forms of punishment, causing him to go deaf, and be in a constant state of agony. … It was recommended by doctors that he be transferred to other countries for treatment … but this request was denied.”
Eventually his medications even were denied him, the claim states.
“Finally on July 31st, 2006, Akbar was murdered in Evin prison during a torture session, his long grueling prison term mercilessly ended by the regime,” it states.
Akbar Mohammadi’s sister, Nasrin, a plaintiff in the action, experienced the torture of her brother “through visits with him and communications back and forth.”
She “has been a witness to the brutality that was inflicted upon her brother,” the case says.
Filed as a class action move on behalf of victims of Iran-sponsored terror, the claim names Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Islamic leader Ayatollah Sayid Ali Hoseyni Khamenei and the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution.
“This class action is brought by the lead plaintiff on behalf of all Iranians who have had their civil and human rights violated, been assaulted, battered, tortured and even murdered to keep a vicious, illegitimate and inhuman radical regime in power, all at the expense of the great, courageous, pro-Western, extremely well educated and highly sophisticated Persian civilization and its people who have a history of living in freedom and want to be free from repression and violations of basic human rights once again,” the case states.
Klayman told WND the Iranian people are considered a key to the Middle East.
“They deserve the right to be free,” he said. Nasrin Mohammadi, he said, is a hero.
“She is putting herself out for brother, who she loved deeply,” he said.
A video interview with Klayman and Nasrin has been posted on YouTube:
The lawsuit was filed under the Alien Tort Claims Act and cites allegations of supporting terror, torture, assault, battery and wrongful death.
Klayman told WND the action seeks justice for Akbar Mohammadi.
It also is intended to show President Obama he needs to speak out on behalf of those freedom protesters who even in recent weeks have been challenging the authoritarian regime of Ahamdinejad and the Islamic leaders.
“What he has been doing is a disgrace to the heritage of our country,” Klayman said.
Along with a jury trial, the action seeks judgements against the defendants “for compensatory damages, punitive damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorneys’ fees, costs and such other relief as this court deems just and proper in an amount in excess of Ten Billion USD.”
“The court has subject matter jurisdiction over this case under the Alien Tort Claims Act and the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991. … Defendants Ahmadinejad and Khamenei are subject to suit in the courts of the United States pursuant to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act,” the claim explains.
The case originally was filed against Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez by Klayman seeking damages for “assault, supporting terrorism, crimes against humanity, violations of civil and human rights, torture” and other crimes.
The case was filed on behalf of a class of victims in Venezuela who allegedly were subjected to torture, threats and massive rights violations by the defendants “and their agents, and also acting in concert with, aiding, abetting, facilitating, soliciting, directing, orchestrating and conspiring with the Colombian paramilitary group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), al-Qaida and the Taliban, and other terrorist groups, nation states and their collaborators in those atrocities.”