The seven Iranian Bahá’í leaders sentenced to 20 year prison terms are yet further victims of the Iranian regime’s flagrant disregard towards its human rights obligations under international law. From arrest to sentencing, it seems clear that the authorities concerned did not even follow domestic due process.
The leaders have been convicted on charges ranging from insulting religious sanctity in Iran to espionage for Israel, allegations for which no evidence has ever been produced in open court, and which they flatly deny. The conduct of the Ministry of Intelligence and the Judiciary has been highly dubious, and suggests that the trial was seen as a formality with little relevance to a predetermined verdict.
The Board of Deputies is appalled at the manner in which these leaders have been treated. For two years they were imprisoned without trial. It appears that, during this time, six of the seven were held for 105 days solitary confinement and another for 175 days.
The Board of Deputies is deeply concerned by the ongoing repression of minorities in Iran. The President of the Board, Vivian Wineman, said, “In the 1980s, scores of Iranian Bahá’í leaders were summarily rounded up and executed. I pray that we are not on the verge of a repeat of such atrocities.”