Iranian dissidents sue Ebrahim Raisi for torture


A group of Iranian dissidents and former hostages are set to sue the hardline regime’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, in a landmark case in federal court alleging torture and other human rights crimes.

The case will be closed before Raisi travels to the United States to attend the annual UN proceedings in New York, according to information about the case provided to the Free Washington Beacon by the National Union for Democracy in Iran, an advocacy group made up of democracy advocates.

The plaintiffs include Mehdi Hajati, a former city councilor in Iran; Kylie Moore-Gilbert, an Australian scholar formerly held hostage by Iran; and Hamid Babaei, an Iranian dissident based in Belgium also held hostage in the country. “The complaint alleges violations of the Protection of Victims of Torture and Torture Act, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault and bodily harm and false imprisonment,” according to the advocacy group. The plaintiffs are represented by Iranian-American human rights lawyer Shahin Milani.

The lawsuit is likely to increase controversy surrounding Raisi’s visit to the United States later this month to attend the United Nations General Assembly. The Biden administration moved to grant Raisi a visa to enter the United States, even as members of Congress from both parties pushed the administration to bar him from US soil.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) is spearheading legislation that effectively bars the Biden administration from giving Raisi a visa, the Free tag reported Wednesday.

Further details of the trial will be released next week at a press event in New York to coincide with Raisi’s speech to the United Nations.

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