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By Safa Haeri
Posted Wednesday, May 26, 2004

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TEHRAN 26 May (IPS) One of the Islamic Republic’s top Judge and Prosecutor beat the hand of a journalist and threw at him ashtrays during a meeting of the Judiciary with newspaper owners and editors on Tuesday, Iranian newspapers reported despite the authorities ban on the incident.

Ayatollah Mohsen Ezheh’i, the president of the controversial Clergymen’s Special Court and a close friend of Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i, the leader of the Islamic Republic had gone mad after an angry Isa Saharkhiz, representing the newspapers owners and editors told him “let’s go out and see how the people greets me and greets you”.

The scuffle broke out while the board was reviewing the article of a magazine in which a sociologist would warn that if bys and girls are not given more freedom, they would go underground, out of the eyes and control of the families.

According to eyewitnesses, the cleric got angry at Mr. Saharkhiz defending the article and charged him to be also one of the corrupt people responsible for the wide spread prostitution in Islamic Iran, seeing no problem even if his children are engaged in such sinful practices.


Not satisfied, the cleric took another ashtray and hit the journalist’s head.


“My children are already married. But if you insist, let’s go out to see how the people receive me and how they treat you”, Mr. Saharkhiz shut back.

It was at this time that Judge Ezheh’i lost his temper, threw one ashtray to the face of Mr. Saharkhiz, who was slightly wounded.

Not satisfied, the cleric took another ashtray and hit the journalist’s head. When Mr. Saharkhiz tried to stop the angry judge hitting more, Mr. Ezheh’i beat his arm and tore up his shirt, eyewitnesses confirmed, adding that the whole bizarre affair had been filmed.

Mr. Ahmad Ne’mati, a lawyer for Mr. Rastakhiz, who was taken to hospital for his slight injuries, suggested the film be shown to Mr. Khameneh'i who, as the leader of the Iranian regime, controls the Judiciary and appoints top judges, including the biting judge.

Asked by a reporter to comment on Mr. Ezheh’i behaviour, Mr. Ne’mati said there has been sometimes skirmishes at the Majles or in other meetings between opposing people, but we never saw a judge biting, throwing ashtray or tear down some one’s shirt because of disagreement”. ENDS BITING JUDGE 26504


Isa Saharkhiz


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