Trial for seven Baha'i leaders reportedly delayed


GENEVA — Iranian officials have reportedly told families of the seven Baha’i leaders currently held in Evin prison in Tehran that their trial has been delayed. No new trial date was given.

Held for more than a year, the seven were reportedly to have been tried on Saturday, although this information, too, was based on oral reports from officials, and such reports have often been unreliable in the past.

The seven were arrested in the spring of 2008 and have been held more than a year without formal charges or access to their attorneys. Official Iranian news reports have said the Baha’is will be accused of “espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic Republic.”

The seven are Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Naeimi, Mr. Saeid Rezaie, Mrs. Mahvash Sabet, Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Mr. Vahid Tizfahm. All but one of the group were arrested on 14 May 2008 at their homes in Tehran. Mrs. Sabet was arrested on 5 March 2008 while in Mashhad.

The Baha’i International Community has repeatedly said that the seven are being held solely because of their religious beliefs, calling for their immediate release.

Such appeals for the release of the seven have been echoed by governments and human rights groups around the world. On Friday, Amnesty International issued a press release calling on Iranian authorities to release the seven. On Thursday, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, responding to a letter from Roxana Saberi, the Iranian-American journalist who spent almost four months in an Iranian cell, likewise urged the release of the seven. Also on Thursday, European Parliament member Angelika Beer, speaking on behalf of the Parliament’s delegation for Iran, called for the release of the seven, or, at the least, urged that any trial be free, fair and open.

[Source: Baha’i World News Service]


18 Responses

  1. virginia tijerina

    July 11, 2009 7:14 pm

    I love the people of Iran,I love their culture,food,names,manners,their devotion to God and Iam soooo disappointed that the government is doing this to the Bahais.I know that they do not represent their country or religion asI have many friends that are Muslims and Iam a Bahai for 40 years,and None of the things the Bahais are being accused of is true.We believe in the love and respect of all humanity and respect of all religions.I am a mexican and proud to be a Bahai,have taught my children and grand daughter to be Bahais .Please Muslims,if you believe in God,stand up for the rights of the Bahais.There is only ONE GOD &ONE RELIGION,THE RELIGION OF GOD.

  2. CQ

    July 11, 2009 8:30 pm

    I don’t know whether to be happy or sad about this. Perhaps it is yet another chance to practice detachment and prayer.

  3. Farnaz

    July 11, 2009 11:22 pm

    This is great news! The more time we have to proclaim human rights for Baha’is in Iran, and bring in international attention through the media and prominent politican figures, the better. This is the only way to ensure that the rights of Baha’is are protected, whilst Baha’is live in the current government’s policy.

  4. savitri

    July 12, 2009 10:10 am

    To me seems they are waiting for the protesters to calm. every in the world and in iran. i read the profile of them such a briliante people. i admire them and i will pray for them.

  5. Marc

    July 12, 2009 5:40 pm

    Sounds like the Iranian government is not sure how to handle the situation and of the extent of the power of international media coverage. Please continue to pray for the Yaran and inform the people around you of this injustice!

  6. Irani

    July 13, 2009 7:25 am

    Yet another sign that the Mullahs are in disagreement among themselves. They have no evidence of any wrong doing, no confessions, and no reason for keeping the 7 in jail. They will not dare harm them either. So it’s not surprising that they keep delaying things they need to come up with some excuse and is proving to be hard nut to crack.

  7. sb

    July 13, 2009 11:53 am

    With the force of world opinion exclaimed so loudly, perhaps the time was not auspicious for the type of “trial” the government of Iran had planned. As British member of Parliment said in the video piece posted here on IPW, everytime the world lifts its voice there appears to be a “softening” effect in Iran. However relieving the delay is, the only just outcome is the release of these innocent people.


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