U.S. State Department condemns charges

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Following is a press release statement by Robert Wood, Acting Department Spokesman:

The United States condemns the Iranian government’s decision to level baseless charges of espionage against seven leaders of the Iranian Baha’i community: Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Naeimi, Mr. Saeid Rezaie, Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli, Mr. Vahid Tizfahm and Mrs. Mahvash Sabet. Authorities have detained these Baha’i for more than nine months without access to legal counsel or making public any evidence against them. The accusations reported in Iranian and international media are part of the ongoing persecution of Baha’i in Iran. Thirty other Baha’i remain imprisoned in Iran solely on the basis of their religious belief.

Other religious minorities continue to be targeted solely on the basis of their beliefs. Last month authorities arrested three Christians: Jamal Ghalishorani, Nadereh Jamali and Hamik Khachikian. In addition, authorities detained several members of the Gonabadi Dervishes, followers of Sufism, on Kish Island in January.

We join the international community in urging the authorities to release all religious minorities who are currently in detention for peacefully exercising their human rights and fundamental freedoms.

[Source: U.S. Department of State at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2009/02/117332.htm]

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2 Responses

  1. Paul Desailly

    May 15, 2015 7:02 am

    As a writer and as a teacher like Mahvash Sabet, imprisoned unjustly in Iran, and above all as a fellow believer I find her plight so sad that I’m committed to trying any and all approaches that might help.
    This time last year while attending in Tehran the first national congress of Esperanto I was pleasantly surprised (scared and suspicious too given that I’m a published Baha’i Esperantist author) to see the high regard in which the Iranian authorities hold the local and the international Esperanto movement. Can the Baha’is at an institutional level reach out to the Esperantists’ national and international administrations, in the same way as Baha’is reach out to the UN and the English speaking media, and ask the Esperantists to act as neutral intermediaries? Just a thought worth consulting on given the sufferings of our coreligionists.
    This sort of humanitarian intervention is exactly what gave the Esperanto movement such a fine reputation in WW1 and WW2.
    A record number of Iranian Esperantists (30) are registered to attend the 100th World Congress of Esperanto at the end of July in France where 3,000 speakers of Esperanto from 70 countries will gather in an effort to promote world peace.
    The second Iranian Congress of Esperanto is slated to occur about a month later in Tehran.
    I’ll be praying today with millions of other Baha’is.
    Baha’i love.
    Paul (Adelaide, Australia)

    Reply

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