Monday, August 09, 2010

Reports say Iran's Baha'i leaders "sentenced"

The seven Baha'i prisoners, photographed several months before their arrest, are, in front, Behrouz Tavakkoli and Saeid Rezaie, and, standing, Fariba Kamalabadi, Vahid Tizfahm, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, and Mahvash Sabet.

Reports say Iran's Baha'i leaders "sentenced"

8 August 2010
NEW YORK — The Baha'i International Community has received reports indicating that seven Iranian Baha'i leaders have each received jail sentences of 20 years.
The two women and five men have been held in Tehran's notorious Evin prison since they were arrested in 2008 – six of them on 14 May and one of them two months earlier.
"If this news proves to be accurate, it represents a deeply shocking outcome to the case of these innocent and harmless people," said Bani Dugal, the principal representative of the Baha'i International Community to the United Nations.
"We understand that they have been informed of this sentence and that their lawyers are in the process of launching an appeal," said Ms. Dugal.
The prisoners – Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Mahvash Sabet, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm – were all members of a national-level group that helped see to the minimum needs of Iran's 300,000-strong Baha'i community, the country's largest non-Muslim religious minority.
The trial of the seven consisted of six brief court appearances which began on 12 January this year after they had been incarcerated without charge for 20 months, during which time they were allowed barely one hour's access to their legal counsel. The trial ended on 14 June.
The defendants were accused of espionage, propaganda activities against the Islamic order, and the establishment of an illegal administration, among other allegations. All the charges are completely and categorically denied.


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  • Thank you so much for this important update:

    Please also note the following statement has been issued.

    Canada Concerned by Iran’s Ongoing Detention of Bahá’i Leaders

    (No. 6 - January 8, 2010 - 4 p.m. EST) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement expressing Canada’s concern over Iran’s continued detention of seven leaders of the country’s Bahá’i community:

    “Canada remains deeply concerned by Iran’s ongoing arbitrary detention of seven Bahá’i community leaders. It is deplorable that these individuals were detained on the sole basis of their faith and have been denied a fair trial.

    “Canada notes that the seven Bahá’is—Behrouz Tavakkoli, Saeid Rezaie, Fariba Kamalabadi, Vahid Tizfahm, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naemi and Mahvash Sabet—have been detained since the spring of 2008.

    “Furthermore, Iranian officials have recently made statements linking the seven to political unrest. These are unfair accusations, and cause concern for the safety and well‑being of the seven Bahá’is and of all those unjustly detained in Iran. The Iranian government’s unrelenting targeting of the Bahá’i and other religious and ethnic minorities, particularly after the country’s June 12 presidential elections, is a troubling trend.

    “We once again urge Iran to protect the rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and to live up to its commitments and obligations under domestic and international law.”

    By Blogger Parvaneh Azadi, At 11:20 PM  

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