Editor’s Note: Omid Djalili is an award-winning British-Iranian actor/comedian. Not only acclaimed as one of Britain’s funniest stand up comedians, he has also featured in films including ‘The Mummy’, ‘Gladiator’, and ‘Casanova’. Omid is also a Baha’i and published the following note on his blog at http://www.omidnoagenda.com/blog.
I need to bring to your attention the following disturbing news:
In May 2008 the Iranian Authorities arrested seven leaders of the Baha’i community on trumped up charges of ‘espionage’. The Baha’i Faith is a peace loving world religion but has suffered a great deal of persecution at the hands of the Iranian government simply because they choose to practice their faith in a different way to the majority. It is feared that this week the seven will face very grave consequences. This of course, is unthinkable in this day and age but I assure you is a reality. Some of you may know over 200 Baha’is were executed in the 1980s after the Islamic revolution, not to mention over 20,000 in the 19th Century. Already having been in prison for over 8 months (the men are in a cell with no beds which is a violation of their basic human rights) pressure groups and governments have voiced their concern with formal protests to the Iranian Government. I hope to add to the sense of public outcry with a press release on behalf of the comedy community to get this story the publicity it deserves.
My friend Rainn Wilson (an actor on the American version of The Office) has already written a piece for CNN and now I urge you to visit the Amnesty International website and register your complaint via e-mail or fax.
Recent press releases on behalf of other action groups as released through the Bahai’s of the UK are here: http://bahainews-uk.info.