Saeed Toosi has reportedly raped seven of his students aged between 12 ad 14, during the past seven years. (Archives)

June 18, 2021

A plaintiff in a long-running child abuse scandal involving an award-winning Quran reciter has charged leading presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi of ignoring the case as chief justice.

The scandal goes back to 2016, when Voice of America’s Persian Service revealed that several families were suing Saeed Toosi for abusing boys attending his classes. Various reports charged that he had abused up to 23 boys aged between nine and 12, while it was also suggested Toosi was the a favorite Quran reciter of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Quran teacher of his son Mojtaba.

On Thursday, a day before the Iranian presidential election, Ensaf News in Tehran published a letter from one plaintiff claiming Raisi had ignored the case for the two years since Iran’s chief prosecutor, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, wrote to the chief justice in 2019 arguing that Toosi’s acquittal in early 2018 should be reconsidered.

“Raisi simply did nothing,” wrote the plaintiff, whose name was not given by Ensaf News. The plaintiff also claimed Gholam-Hossein Esmaili, a top judiciary official, had intervened in the case to engineer Toosi’s 2018 acquittal.

Toosi was convicted of child abuse in 2012, but families of alleged new victims brought fresh complaints in 2016 while claiming he was being protected by powerful people with influence on the judiciary, possibly implying pressure from Khamenei’s office.

Iran International

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Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.