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February 17, 2000     Beverly Hills Weekly
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notice against the Iranian government. "Trial proceedings in Islamic Revolutionary Courts fall far short of interna- tional standards for fair trial. Amnesty International is alarmed at such a public presumption of guilt before trial proceedings have even begun and fears that this trial may also be conducted in secrecy and result in death sentences for the accused," Amnesty International wrote in their annual report. In June, Amnesty" International put out an Urgent Action asking for the public to send telegrams, faxes, express and airmail letters "seeking urgent clarification of the charges brought against all 13 people: seeking assurances that all 13 will be allowed access to family and independent legal representation of their choice; seeking assurances that trial proceedings will commence within a rea- sonable time." In Iran, the death penalty is widely used for political offenses and those relat- ing to freedom of belief. Many problems within the Iranian government have been linked to Jewish conspiracies and "espionage" acts. Many sanctions have been put on Iran for the government's mistreatment of human rights, but still the saga continues. LOCAL ACTIVISTS PUSH U.S, INTERVENTION After local businessmen and residents made numerous efforts, neighboring Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) drafted a resolution asking for U.S. intervention in Iran. The resolutions contained 100 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives and passed the senate floor, but no vote was cast in the House because of the fear of the Iranian backlash (that the government would not release the prisoners). "It's absolutely ridiculous that a Jew in Iran would have this kind of access [to spy]. Their arrest was probably a result of internal Iranian politics," Don MacDonald, Sherman's legislative assistant on Foreign Affairs, said. "Iranians hold all the cards. They can make a principal move here to free them," MacDonald explained. ELECTIONS COULD CHANGE THEIR FAITH  Mohamm/01at of   Par/y With parliamentary elections tak- place in Iran tomorrow, Feb. 18, officials feel optimistic about release of the prisoners. Many local residents express hope that the elections will bring the two coun- tries together. In lran, however, Ayatollah Ali . Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, urged citizens to vote for devout revolutionaries in Friday's parlia- mentary election. "The good voice by our people will once again disappoint America, arrogant (Western) powers and Zionist centers," Khamenei said in a speech on Tuesday. Officials who attended the speech responded by shouting "Death to America" and "Death to Israel." This temperament has enticed local residents to stand by their beliefs and support the prisoners to a larger degree if the elections prove unsat- isfactory on Friday. Many Iranian residents feel discouraged by the upcoming elections and share the same sentiment of Los Angeles columnist Shireen Hunter. "There is risk that if there is anything less than a resounding victory for the groups clearly and openly identified with President Mohammad Khatami, any possibility of significant change in Iran in the foreseeable future would be dis- missed and efforts to establish a dialogue with the U.S. would be abandoned or at least put rata an even lower gear," Hunter wrote in an editorial this week. SHOULD LOCAL ACTIVISTS INTERVENE IN/RAN? Send us an e-mail at editor@ bhweekly.com In the best Italian Fashion! Served your way! Charles Perry, L.A. Times "They put on quite a performance at this little culinat T theatcr..,l can heartily recommend it!" Elmer Dills, L.A. Dining Critic Patio Service Take Out & Delivery Catering on Request For Offices and Homes If you don't see it on the menu ask for it! Different Specials Every Night Sk:tlian Meatloaf Veal Stew Seafod Pasta Fresh Fish Veal Ossobuco ,.. 3 S. La Cienega Blvd. 310.652.5992 fax 310.652-5993 i Renew gour fictitious business statement at the lowest cost; The Culuer City Ilems offers fictitious business statements for as low as S60! for forms and information, cog or uisit our brondl office at the 6euerlg Hills Weeldg: 140 S. 6edg I)due, Suite 201 in be glilshire and Chorleuige g Hills, Cfl 90212 310.887-0788 make check or moneg order pagabte to the "$tal Community Iiewspaper". The Culuer Citg rims is adjudicated for the oun of Los flngeles, pursuant to Case 3154529 on march 24,1980. i iiii i, i i i February 17-23, 2000 11