SYDNEY, 14 MAY 2014
Australian relatives of Baha’i leaders jailed in Iran for their religious beliefs are once again calling for their immediate release.
On the sixth anniversary of the jailing of the seven leaders, family members in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide have released statements about their dear ones.
They have made their statements supported by the knowledge that the Australian Government and individual MPs have regularly added their voices to the international call for the leaders to be freed.
Sydney filmmaker Mehrzad Mumtahan is calling on Iran’s president to uphold the rights of the Iranian people, and to free the seven leaders, including his uncle, agricultural engineer Saeid Rezaie.
“Release these innocent souls and stop the persecution of the Baha’is and other minorities immediately,” Mr Mumtahan said.
“This has been a difficult time for our family, especially my aunt and cousins, who have been deprived of a loving husband and father for too long.”
Also in Sydney, Ghodsieh Samimi said her niece, Mahvash Sabet, one of the leaders and a school principal by profession, is suffering from illnesses mainly due to the harsh environment and deprivation of basic health and dietary needs.
“Mahvash herself stays very positive, and she consoles and helps others– she is also very thankful for the heartfelt stream of prayers,” Mrs Samimi said.
In Melbourne, investment consultant Vargha Taefi said his mother, Fariba Kamalabadi, an educational psychologist, was “in good spirits and hopeful”, but he said that in the past six years the opportunity to celebrate life events together had been stolen from his family.
Fariba Kamalabadi’s sister, Roya, a Melbourne pharmacist, has said: “I think of my sister Fariba every day. She is in my heart and my mind.
“May we soon witness a universal outcry for the immediate and permanent release of those seven selfless, innocent Baha’i leaders and other prisoners of conscience.”
Adelaide businessman Amin Tavakoli said his beloved brother, Behrouz, one of the seven leaders, is a psychologist who has devoted his career to helping mentally and physically ill children
Mr Tavakoli said his brother had been six years in a concrete-walled cell, away from the loving embrace of his family. He said the call for the freedom of the seven leaders would not be silenced.
“A whisper has turned to a cry so loud that those thick concrete walls have crumbled, a whisper that has crossed borders and reached the ears of all those lovers of freedom and justice — lovers who have answered this whisper with a unifying call: ‘Six years is too many!’ ”
Australian Baha’i Community spokesperson Natalie Mobini said: “Baha’is in Australia and around the world are united in calling for the immediate release of these seven innocent individuals, who have been robbed of the past six years in an absolute travesty of justice.”
Dr Mobini said that readings from Prison Poems, a book of poems written by Mrs Sabet in her cell, will take place in Canberra and Sydney, on 28 and 29 May at events organised by the Australian Baha’i Community to mark the anniversary of the arrests and imprisonment of the seven leaders.
Members of Iran’s Baha’i community, the country’s biggest non-Muslim religious minority, are severely persecuted in Iran because their religion is not acceptable to the country’s Islamic authorities.
Source : http://tinyurl.com/orpbhbf
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