Iranians are arising to support Bahá’ís from all walks of life. Omid Djalili a British stand-up comic speaks about the persecuted Bahá’í religious minority:
To say that the Iranian judicial system might need ‘a bit of updating’ is an understatement.
The integrity of their court must come into question and is surely compromised when Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a mother of two, can be sentenced to a cruel death by stoning because she has “confessed” to adultery (I’m assuming “Relate” counselling in that regime hasn’t caught on yet?).
The seven leaders of Iran’s Bahá’í community have just been sentenced to 20 years in jail. These innocent people, whose only ‘crime’ is that they are Bahá’ís, faced a sham trial earlier this year.
Their former lawyer, Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, is clear that there is no evidence to support accusations that they were spreading propaganda, insulting Islam, or spying for Israel.
The oldest of the Bahá’í leaders – 77 year-old grandfather of six Jamaloddin Khanjani – will probably die in prison if the sentence is carried out. Over two years in harsh ‘temporary detention’ before the trial has seriously damaged the health of some of the others.
But it’s not just the seven Bahá’í leaders. The whole 300,000 strong Bahá’í community in Iran has suffered appalling treatment, harassment and discrimination for decades. Fifty Bahá’í homes in northern Iran were torched in early July this year.
Bahá’ís are often sacked from their jobs, young Bahá’ís can’t go to university, and Bahá’í children are bullied by teachers and school administrators. At least 47 other Bahá’ís are in prison at the moment.
The Bahá’í faith teaches unity in diversity. Bahá’ís everywhere invite people to work with them for the betterment of the world and in service to humanity as a whole. The faith has its roots in Iran, it is a gentle religion and poses absolutely no threat to the regime.
By imprisoning the seven Bahá’í leaders, Iran is ignoring its own laws, never mind its human rights obligations. The government of Iran must give the Bahá’ís a fair hearing and do the right thing and simply release these individuals.
This is not the Iran of the past. Thankfully we live in an age when the eyes of the world are watching.”
Also, see a youtube viedo of Omid here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mrldA95spQ