Akbar Atri, an Iranian student opposition leader (in other words a real militant, as opposed to those so-defined by Reuters, etc.), has made it out of his homeland my the skin of his chinny-chin-chin.
“It is common in Iran to have an open charge against political activists in order to intimidate us,” he said. “They can bring these charges to the court anytime they want. I was surprised I got out so easily. Usually people with open charges against them cannot leave the country, but there was obviously a loophole in the system this time. So I got out.”
The recent charges against him are not Mr. Atri’s first brush with the law. In the interview yesterday he said that in 2000 he was beaten so badly by the plainclothes religious police known as the Bassij that his jaw was broken and he lost two teeth. When his case was finally heard by a judge, the court ruled that he owed his attackers money for assaulting them.
“The judge ruled that I owed the traditional Islamic penalty, the price of a camel,” he said. “When I finally heard the sentence I thought that camels have become very expensive.”