Bahai News - Clinton 'Deeply Disturbed' by Iran Jews Sentences

Clinton 'Deeply Disturbed' by Iran Jews Sentences

July 1, 2000 1:15 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Clinton said on Saturday he was ``deeply disturbed'' by an Iranian court's decision to sentence 10 Iranian Jews to prison terms on charges of spying for Israel.

Clinton, in a written statement, said it was clear the Jews were not accorded due process of law and that the judicial proceedings by an Iranian Revolutionary Court were ``seriously flawed.''

``We call upon the government of Iran to remedy the failings of these procedures immediately and overturn these unjust sentences,'' he said.

The 10 Jews were given on Saturday prison terms of between four and 13 years for their part in the alleged Israeli spy ring.

Saying he was ``deeply disturbed by the verdicts,'' Clinton said the Iranian government ``has again failed to act as a society based on the rule of law, to which the Iranian people aspire.''

``We have raised our concerns time and again when the Iranian government has treated intellectuals, journalists, Muslim clerics and members of the Bahai community with the same fundamental unfairness,'' he said.

He vowed the United States would continue to work with other governments and organizations as part of a broader concern for the treatment of minority groups and human rights in Iran.

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, in a separate statement, said she was deeply concerned at the convictions.

``We call on the international community to join in our call for a clear and unambiguous condemnation of this verdict,'' she said.

©Copyright 2000, Reuters Ltd.

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