Plea to release Baha’i prisoners
(The Hindu) Staff Reporter
‘A plea to Iran’:Human rights activists led by Swami Agnivesh at a peaceful protest in New Delhi on Thursday calling for release of all “prisoners of conscience” in Iran.
NEW DELHI: The Asian Centre for Human Rights, Indian Baha’i Community, People’s Watch and Women’s Coalition for Peace and Development with Dignity launched a campaign in the Capital on Thursday demanding release of 500 Iranian “prisoners of conscience”.
The call comes alongside an international demand in more than 81 cities, led by United4Iran, a non-partisan network of human rights groups that is coordinating efforts around the world.
The protesters gathered at Baha’i House here and signed postcards demanding release of the seven Baha’i leaders incarcerated in Tehran since May 2008 and awaiting the fourth session of their trial which is slated for June 12.
They also voiced support for Shirkoo Moarefi, a young Kurdish activist who has been sentenced to death.
The protestors marched from Jaswant Singh Road to Hyderabad House carrying banners that were a collage of photographs of the 500 “prisoners of conscience”.
Addressing the protesters, social activist Swami Agnivesh emphasised that humanity demands love and respect for all and should allow people of different belief system and ideology to co-exist in peace and solidarity.
Ms. Farida Vahedi of the Indian Baha’i community said Iran was a signatory to the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economics, Social and Cultural Rights and the provisions require Iran to honour the freedom of religion and conscience of all its citizens, she added.
The signed postcards demanding release of the 500 prisoners were later sent to the Iranian Embassy here.
Source: The Hindu, http://www.thehindu.com/2010/06/11/stories/2010061162080400.htm