The reformist fraction in the Iranian Parliament has once again dragged Saeed Toosi, known as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s favorite Quran reciter, into the spotlight.
Toosi, a prominent teacher and Quran reciter, was acquitted last week of sexually abusing 19 prepubescent students (four plaintiffs have been confirmed). The verdict was followed by widespread criticism on social media.
It is not yet known whether the charges included homosexual rape, which can carry the death penalty. He is the winner of several top prizes in international and local competitions, notably the 1998 International Quran Recital Competition.
Bahram Parsei, deputy head of the Omid, or Hope, faction in the parliament announced on February 7 that he and his peers did not find the official report on Toosi’s acquittal convincing.
In an interview with pro-reformist daily Sharq, Parasei said on February 7, “We reviewed Toosi’s case in a session attended by the justice minister and the judiciary’s deputy to see how the lawsuit against him was finally shelved after more than six years.”
They tried to expand on the reasons behind Toosi’s acquittal, Parsaei said, “but they failed to convince us.”
Parsaei disclosed that most of Toosi’s young victims are being psychologically pressured and forced to take drugs to “bear their suffering.”
However, Parsaei did not elaborate on what steps Omid could take to reopen the case against Toosi since he has been acquitted of all charges.
Earlier, reacting to Toosi’s acquittal, Tehran MP Mahmoud Sadeghi had tweeted, “It appears the child-molesting Quran reciter is enjoying the support of individuals who have infiltrated the supreme leader’s office.”
Responding to such comments, in an interview with EnsafNews, Toosi denied there had been any influence behind his acquittal.