The following provides an overview of the months since the initial imprisonment in March and May 2008 of the seven Iranian Baha’is, known as the Yaran (‘Friends’), who had previously functioned as an adhoc coordinating body for the Baha’i community of Iran.
- March 5, 2008: Mahvash Sabet, one of the Baha’i leaders, was arrested in Mashhad.
- May 14, 2008: The remaining six Baha’i leaders – Behrouz Tavakkoli, Saeid Rezaie, Fariba Kamalabadi, Vahid Tizfahm, Jamaloddin Khanjani, and Afif Naeimi – were arrested at their homes in Tehran. They were charged with “espionage on behalf of Israel”, “insulting the sacredness of Islam”, and “propaganda against the regime.”
- September 2008: After being held in solitary confinement for about 4 months, the Yaran were relocated to a normal prison cell in Tehran’s Evin Prison, where they have been held ever since.
- October 2008: The Yaran were separated from other prisoners, where the five men have been kept in one cell and the two women in another, isolated from others.
- February 11, 2009: The legal reporter of ISNA, Judge Hassan Haddad stated that the Yaran would be tried within the coming week. This did not take place.
- February was marked by strong condemnation of the case of the Yaran throughout the world press and governments. A list of the most significant articles and statements can be found here.
- February 25, 2009: The Yaran were allowed to meet with their families. Their trial was also said to be postponed for another two weeks, but again, this did not hold up.
- February 27, 2009: Iran’s Attorney-General, Qorban-Ali Dorri-Najafabadi, declared that the Yaran have confessed to the charges leveled against them, obviously a blatant lie.
- March 2009: The Yaran decided that as a measure of goodwill to disband all Baha’i organizations in Iran. This decision was ratified by the Universal House of Justice.
- April 27, 2009: A fourth charge was leveled against the Yaran: “Aiding, teaching and propagating the Baha’i religion in Iran.” This is tantamount to “mufsed fel-arz” [corrupt on earth] which has historically carried harsh consequences, including the death penalty. This report was confirmed by the Baha’i World News Service on May 12, 2009.
May 15, 2009 5:07 pm
After much experience, I have total confidence in prayer, and shall send special please to the Ab ha Beauty, always knowing that His will be done.