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 ↑
Just as Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits the United States for his annual trek to the United Nations, a Washington, D.C., court is being asked to hit him with a $10 billion judgment in a terror and torture lawsuit to which he has refused to respond.
The class action lawsuit was brought on behalf of an Iranian woman living in Los Angeles whose brother was tortured to death by the regime of Muslim leaders in Iran.
It was filed by Larry Klayman of FreedomWatchUSA.org on behalf of Nasrin Mohammadi, whose brother, a protester for freedom and rights in Iran during the 1990s, was arrested as a result of his protests, jailed, tortured and killed, the lawsuit explains.
The suit was filed as a class action 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.”
Today, a motion for entry of default and for default judgment was entered with the court as Ahmadinejad and the other defendants, despite have been notified of the lawsuit twice, refused to respond.
“Plaintiff’s complaint was filed July 10, 2009, entered July 14, 2009. On September 23, 2009, plaintiff served the initial complaint on defendant Ahmadinejad at a state dinner that he was attending at the Barlay Intercontinental Hotel. Such service occurred while defendant was meeting with the U.N. General Assembly in New York City. Plaintiff received no response from defendant. Plaintiff, on December 15, 2010, again served defendants through Mohammad Tagli Mosleghi. Mosleghi, who was over eighteen years of age and a U.S. citizen who had no relation to any of the defendants, effectuated proper service on this date at 12:55PM. Defendant personally served each and every one of the named defendants by serving the Embassy of Switzerland (2900 Cathedral Avenue Northwest Washington D.C., DC 20008-3405), which is the representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its government officials and entities with regard to the United States. Service was made by hand and copies of the amended complaint and summons, along with certified translation in the Farsi language were served on the document intake person inside the embassy,” the filing explains.
A default judgment would be the next step in the case, which was brought under the Alien Tort Claims Act and the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991.
“The ATCA and the TVPA confer federal subject-matter jurisdiction when alien sues for tort committed in violation of law of nations,” Klayman wrote. And, he noted, “Foreign sovereigns are not immune in cases in which money damages are sought against a foreign state for personal injury occurring in the U.S. and caused by the tortious act of that foreign state or of any official of that foreign state while acting within the scope of his office. … Through tortious and violent acts, defendants have caused extreme [injury] to plaintiffs, citizens of the United States, not only by the brutal killing of their brother. As such, immunity is not provided for such defendants.”
The damages allowed under the Anti-Terrorism Act also are tripled, he said.
“There is no doubt that defendants, acting individually and in concert with al-Qaida, Hezbollah, and other terrorist groups, were and remain engaged in terrorism and violations of human and civil rights in violation of the law of nations and international law. Plaintiff’s brother, Akbar Mohammadi, … was a student of the University of Tehran and a critic of the Iranian regime.”
“It’s time for the American people to take action,” Klayman told WND. “Our government of Democrats and Republicans has ignored the serious threat from Iran. We the people must do the job ourselves.”
According to the filing, Akbar Mohammadi was “was taken into custody by violent Iranian police and locked away in Evin Prison in Tehran, a place notorious for its cruel imprisonment of political dissidents. Seeking to intimidate its population from engaging in political dissidence, defendants sought to make an example of plaintiff’s brother. However, defendants went beyond a mere imprisonment. While in prison, Akbar was subjected to repeated bouts of torture and cruel and unusual forms of punishment, forced to suffer from defendants’ acts that would be clear violations of United States law. … Through continuous, brutal and repulsive acts of defendants, plaintiff’s brother spent his final years in a constant state of agony.”
Eventually, even though Iranian doctors recommended he be moved to a hospital and treated, he was not. He died July 31, 2006.
Besides the actual acts of torture, Ahamdinejad “has been involved with various worldwide terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, al-Qaida … and others, all officially designated as terrorist organizations by the U.S. State Department.”
He’s also “directly and through their agents … provided substantial support to assortment of terrorist organizations.”
“One cannot imagine the emotional suffering plaintiff faced, receiving letters from her brutally beaten and tortured brother, describing the torment he faced on a daily basis,” the filing said.
“Defendants have committed vicious acts against many civilians. The plaintiff and the great number of other people who are members of the class have faced violence themselves or have witnessed their kin suffer through extreme brutality and torture. … Plaintiff and other members of the class have suffered pecuniary and economic damages through the loss of their kin, loss of support, loss of nurture care and guidance, grief, anguish, loss of society, loss of services and other mental and physical injuries.”
The motion requests default judgment for the plaintiffs and judgment against the defendants of $10 billion.