Monday, August 17, 2009

Iran: Trial of Baha'i Leaders Postponed

A story published on the Baha'i World News Service has reported today that the trial of the seven Baha'i leaders imprisoned in Iran has been postponed until 18 October. The following is the full text of the article:
Trial of seven imprisoned Baha'i leaders postponed
17 August 2009

GENEVA — The trial of seven Baha'i leaders imprisoned in Iran has been postponed until 18 October, the Baha'i International Community learned today.

According to Diane Ala'i, the Baha'i International Community representative to the United Nations in Geneva, following a request for postponement of the trial from Mr. Hadi Esmaielzadeh and Ms. Mahnaz Parakand – attorneys from the Defenders of Human Rights Center who are representing the seven Baha'is – the court has decided to delay the hearing for two months.

Two senior members of the legal team, Nobel laureate Mrs. Shirin Ebadi and Mr. Abdolfattah Soltani, were unable to attend the hearing as Mrs. Ebadi is out of the country and Mr. Soltani is in prison, having been detained on 16 June 2009 in the wake of the civil unrest following the presidential election in Iran.

"Our hope now is that our seven innocent co-religionists will be released on bail," said Ms. Ala'i.

The seven Baha'i prisoners are Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Naeimi, Mr. Saeid Rezaie, Mrs. Mahvash Sabet, Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Mr. Vahid Tizfahm. All but one of the group were arrested on 14 May 2008 at their homes in Tehran. Mrs. Sabet was arrested on 5 March 2008 while in Mashhad. They have since been held at Tehran’s Evin prison without formal charges or access to their lawyers.

Official Iranian news accounts have said the seven are to be accused of "espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic republic."

The Baha'i International Community categorically rejects all charges against the seven, stating that they are held solely because of religious persecution.
These innocent individuals must be released immediately pending their trial. They clearly do not pose any threat to anyone and they have been wrongly accused with trumped-up charges.


  1. The Báb said of Bahá'u'lláh:
    If ye seek God, it behooveth you to seek Him Whom God shall make manifest, and if ye cherish the desire to dwell in the Ark of Names, ye will be distinguished as the guides to Him Whom God shall make manifest, did ye but believe in Him.(SWB, p. 131)
    And know thou of a certainty that by Paradise is meant recognition of and submission unto Him Whom God shall make manifest, and by the fire the company of such souls as would fail to submit unto Him or to be resigned to His good-pleasure. On that Day thou wouldst regard thyself as the inmate of Paradise and as a true believer in Him, whereas in reality thou wouldst suffer thyself to be wrapt in veils and thy habitation would be the nethermost fire, though thou thyself wouldst not be cognizant thereof.(SWB, p. 82)

  2. The USC Office of Religious Life, USC Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethis and the Los Angeles Baha'i Center are hosting a concert event on Wednesday, October 14th at 7:30 PM at the Bovard Auditorium for a call for human rights and religious freedom in Iran, in light of the upcoming trial of the seven Iranian Baha'is this Sunday, October 18th.

    The event includes international artists, guest speakers and religious leaders in Southern California.


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