Baha’i World News Service issue of 14 Nov reported the following, under the heading, “Top judicial official orders review of verdict favoring Baha’is”:
The head of the Judiciary in Iran, Ayatollah Shahroudi, intervened in an appellate court case that had been decided in favor of four Baha’is, and a second appeals court then ruled against the Baha’is.
The four defendants, all of Hamadan, were accused of “teaching against the regime.” They originally were found guilty, but earlier this year an appeals court overturned the verdict and said the Baha’is were innocent. The appeals court ruled that – given the Baha’is’ claim that not only are they not against the government but are absolutely obedient to it – teaching the Baha’i Faith cannot be regarded as teaching against the regime. The court also stated that it took into account the example of the Prophet and the Immaculate Imams, who urged kindness toward all people.
Ayatollah Shahroudi, however, ordered that the case be reconsidered by a different appeals court, and this time the verdict came back as guilty. This second court explained that Imam Khomeini had said that promoting the Baha’i Faith is equivalent to denying Islam and the Islamic Republic, and also that Baha’i leaders teach their faith in Israel. (The Baha’i International Community states categorically that both of those assertions are false.)
The four Baha’is were sentenced to an unknown period of imprisonment, and one of them was also sentenced to a subsequent three years of exile in Khash.
Iran Press Watch has come across the court ruling document dated 6 October 2008, and for the sake of preservation of historical record we append it below.