Saturday, July 12, 2008

An Action against a Whistle-Blower?

Shahbazi: They Tried to Kill Me
By:‎Rasa Ghazinejad

Abdollah Shahbazi, who is now labeled as the ‘second exposer’ after a former Majlis ‎member Palizdar made public revelations about flagrant corruption among senior Iranian ‎clerics and politicians, is reported to have escaped an assassination attempt, according to ‎news reports in Iran. He is said to have written a letter to President Ahmadinejad ‎asserting that an attempt was made on his life with the intention to kill him.‎
Edalatkhah website close to Iran’s president Ahmadinejad reported the claim on Tuesday ‎with details. “When the chasers discovered that Shahbazi was not in the vehicle they ‎were following, they beat up the driver and threatened him with a pistol. They then ‎attempted to kidnap the drive who after being hit in the head was forced to drive his car ‎off a curb and then ran out of the vehicle to flee. After a series of protest statements by ‎Shahbazi about corruption and fraud in real estate deals in the province of Fars, armed ‎men two nights ago chased his car and attempted to kidnap and assassinate him”, the ‎report on the website read.‎
This report was published by a site close to Ahmadinejad after Shahab News website ‎reported that the president and Shahbazi had been in contact. According to this report ‎Abdollah Shahbazi, a writer and a controversial historian who has made somber charges ‎against senior military and political authorities in the province of Fars, now claims that ‎armed men attempted to assassinate him.‎
A Researcher for the Security ApparatusAbdollah Shahbazi was a key member of Iran’s Tudeh communist party in the former ‎years of the 1979 revolution and was arrested with other senior leaders of the party in ‎early 1980s. But he soon turned into an active member of the intelligence community of ‎the Islamic regime and became a member of the Ministry of Intelligence. He was a ‎founding member of the Center for Political Research of that ministry and led it for more ‎than 10 years. According to him, while working at the research center, he was also active ‎at the Current History of Iran Studies institute (Moasese Motaleat Tarikhe Moaser Iran) ‎on direct orders from the Supreme leader of the Islamic state, an institute that is linked to ‎the Mostazafan foundation. During these years, he has been closely linked to right-wing ‎groups in the ministry of intelligence. ‎
In recent months, he began a campaign to discredit and ‘expose’ economic corruption ‎among some senior authorities in the province of Fars. He claimed to be close to the ‎special investigator to the president and Dawood Ahmadinejad (the brother of the ‎president and head of the presidential inspectorate general), implying that he was in ‎contact with the higher echelons of power in the country. In that connection, he published ‎documents regarding the secret talks among the most senior leaders of the country, that ‎included the remarks made by Supreme Leader ayatollah Khamenei on June 22, 1999 ‎about the murders that were carried out by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence, known ‎as the serial killings. He had promised to make more documents public in the future about ‎the secret events in the country.‎
These statements, or ‘revelations’ as they are also called, led to his arrest on June 19 by ‎the prosecutor in the town of Shiraz in Fars province. The charges that were brought ‎against him were ‘libel and disturbing public peace’. ‎
After Shahbazi’s arrest, the prosecutor’s deputy issued a 100 million Toman bond (about ‎‎$100,000) for his release and according to Islamic Republic of Iran news agency the head ‎of the judiciary of Fars province had threatened to detain and imprison Shahbazi if he ‎failed to provide the bond. Shahbazi provided the bond the next day and was thus ‎released on bail.‎

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