Congressional Black Caucus Support for "Iran 13"
An initiative on behalf of the 13 Iranian Jews facing trial in Iran on trumped up espionage charges launched by the Congressional Black Caucus was lauded by Jewish leaders. Representatives Edolphus Towns (D-NY), Major Owens (D-NY) and John Lewis (D-GA) circulated a letter explaining the situation of the defendants and seeking the active support of their colleagues to end the plight of the prisoners.
Ronald S. Lauder, chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, praised the efforts of Representative Towns, Owens, Lewis and their colleagues. Their moving plea questions the credibility of the Iranian justice system, noting that those on trial were not allowed to choose their own attorneys and the proceedings are closed to all outside observers, even family members. The Jewish leaders said that the trial has garnered support around the world and in this country from across the political spectrum.
The Black Caucus members joined President Clinton, Vice President Gore, Governor George W. Bush, Secretary of State Albright, and the Republican and Democratic leaders of Congress in speaking out on behalf of the 13 prisoners
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