Roxana Saberi advocates for Iran’s “prisoners of conscience”

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Editor’s Note: In an article published in The Washington Post on June 11, 2009, journalist Roxana Saberi describes meeting Baha’is in Tehran’s Evin Prison among many other ‘prisoners of conscience’

“I also got to know two Baha’i female leaders, who along with five male colleagues have been detained for more than a year without trial. While peacefully pursuing the religious rights of Iran’s largest non-Muslim religious minority, they have been accused of spying for Israel and “spreading corruption on earth,” charges punishable by death.

It is not uncommon for “prisoners of conscience” to be detained without due process. Some are freed on exorbitant bail. As in my case, many have limited or no access to attorneys of their choice and cannot study the “evidence” against them. When hearings occur, they usually take place behind closed doors. On top of severe psychological and mental pressures, some are physically tortured, and a few have died in custody.”

[Source: Washington Post at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/11/AR2009061102050.html and Iran Baha’i US at http://iran.bahai.us

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3 Responses

  1. Puzzled

    June 11, 2009 9:39 pm

    My perception is that there are so many Iranian “prisoners of conscience.” I read Ms. Saberi’s entire article at the Washington Post and was astounded by the brutality that places dissidents in prison that at times seem like torture chambers. I can only hope that people who survive the Iran prison system and become policy makers someday will truly reform the justice system so that there is a due process justice system that makes attorney advocacy a right rather than a privilege.

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  2. Ali

    June 11, 2009 11:55 pm

    Perhaps now that the world through divine providence can hear first hand what goes on in Evin, some one important can call on Aya Khamenie to tear down Evin like Reagan did to Gorbachev when he called on him to tear down the Wall.

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  3. sb

    June 12, 2009 11:57 am

    I am sincerely grateful to Ms. Sabieri for mentioning the seven Baha’i prisoners jailed for more than one year in Evin without access to their lawyer in her Washington Post article.

    Ms. Sabieri’s implications regarding her prison experience is chilling. She readily admits to giving in to her interrogators’ accusation that she was a “spy.” Doing so was obviously a survival stratagem in her case. By her account, her prison interrogators then admitted that they knew she was lying when she “admitted” to the false charges. I hope the world appreciates that the Baha’i prisoners in Iran do not have the luxury of phony capitulation to trumped-up charges made against them.

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