Prominent Iranian Jew Executed

Avraham Boruchim, a member of a prominent Iranian Jewish family which owns two of Teheran’s luxury hotels, was executed by an Iranian firing squad in Evin last Thursday on charges of “spying for Israel.”

The 27-year-old hotelier went on trial last May before an Islamic Revolutionary Court in Teheran an charges of embezzling public funds to build a hotel chain and of “creating an espionage center for American and Israeli agents and their servants.” Iran’s official Pars news agency reported at that time that hotel employes had claimed that the Boruchims hosted “continual meetings of Iranian Jews in the hotels and organized meetings of Zionists.”

FATHER AWAITING SENTENCE

Avraham Boruchim was executed despite efforts of his 80-year-old father, Izaak, to save him. The father, who was in the United States visiting his sons, rushed back to Iran when he learned of his son’s sentence and managed to have Avraham released only to see him re-arrested. The father is now also under arrest and is awaiting sentence in Evin. Two other members of the family, David and Baruch, were also charged by an Islamic Revolutionary Court last May but their fate is not known at this time.

It has been learned that for the past six months efforts had been made through international channels to save Avraham. To Israelis who warned the family to leave while it was still possible, shortly after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini arrived in Teheran to lead the Islamic revolution, Avraham replied: “We have worked hard to make this property flourish. It is difficult to leave it and go away. They will not touch us. “He also reportedly said at the time that “for 3000 years the Jewish nation has known hardship and persecution and we will overcome these hardships as well.”

Other prominent Iranian Jews have also been executed or put on trial since the Islamic revolution. In May, 1979, Habib Elghanian, a businessman and communal leader, was executed on a variety of charges, including having Zionist connections. Last April 22, Moishe Danielpur, who had been scheduled to be executed had his death sentence commuted. He was one of three brothers sentenced to death, two of them in absentia, on charges of cooperating with the U.S. Central intelligence Agency and the Mossod, the Israeli intelligence agency. On June 5 he was executed upon a direct order from the Ayatollah.

According to reports, some 100 Jews continue to be held in prison on a variety of charges, mainly for alleged illegal economic activities or for spreading “Zionist propaganda.”

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