Baha'is to be "on trial" in Iran..


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Redlands, California
Iran Announces Trial of Baha’i Leadership

03:10 pm on Feb 11th 2009 admin

Members of the national coordinating group of the Iranian Baha’i community arrested in spring 2008
The Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA) announced today that charges had been laid against the seven imprisoned members of the national-level committee that coordinates the activities for the Iranian Baha’i community. The report quoted deputy Tehran prosecutor Hassan Haddad as having said “the case will be sent to the revolutionary court next week” and that these Baha’is are accused of “espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic republic.” Agence France Presse (AFP) has posted the following piece, Iran to try Bahais for spying for Israel.
The Baha’is deny categorically these charges. No evidence against them has been brought to light. The seven members of a national Baha’i coordinating committee were arrested in March and May of 2008 and have been held in Tehran’s Evin Prison. At no time during their incarceration have they been given access to their legal counsel, Mrs. Shirin Ebadi. Mrs. Ebadi has been harassed, intimidated, and threatened since taking on their case and has not been given access to their case files. The prosecution of the leaders is just one step in a 30-year-long systematic campaign orchestrated by the government to eliminate the Baha’i community as a viable entity in Iran, the birthplace of the Bahá’í Faith. Documentary evidence exists on this campaign,
At this time, some thirty other Baha’is are imprisoned in Iran solely on account of their religion. Close to 80 more Baha’is, have been required to post deeds of property and business licenses as collateral for bail. They have likewise been falsely charged and are awaiting trial.

The Baha’i World News Service has put out the following statement from the Baha’i International Community, Jailed Iranian Baha’ia should be released, not put on trial, says BIC
That's pretty sad to hear - thanks for keeping us updated on this.
Theocracies tend to be cruel. I will pray for the wellbeing of my sisters and brothers of the Baha'i faith in Iran.

Hermano Luis
Moriviví Hermitage
That is very sad. I wish there was something that we could do.
Letter sent to Iran's chief prosecutor...

Baha'i International Community sends letter to Iran's chief prosecutor

6 March 2009

NEW YORK — </SPAN>The Baha'i International Community has issued an open letter to Iran's prosecutor general outlining the tragic history of the persecution of Baha'is in that country, explaining their innocence in the face of accusations made by the government, and asking for fairness in any upcoming trial of seven Baha'i prisoners.

Sent late yesterday by email to Ayatollah Qorban-Ali Dorri-Najafabadi, the letter also suggests that the government's continued oppression of Baha'is will ultimately have a wide impact on Iranian society as a whole.

"Your Honor, the decisions to be taken by the judiciary in Iran in the coming days will have implications that extend well beyond the Baha'i community in that land - what is at stake is the very cause of the freedom of conscience for all the peoples of your nation," said the six-page letter, dated 4 March 2009.

"It is our hope that, for the sanctity of Islam and the honor of Iran, the judiciary will be fair in its judgment."

The letter comes after a series of statements from Ayatollah Najafabadi quoted in the Iranian news media leveling charges at the Baha'is and stating that the ad hoc arrangements that tend to the spiritual and social affairs of the Baha'i community of Iran are illegal.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran will not allow any movement to harm the national security through illegal and unauthorized organizational activities," he said, referring specifically to Baha'is, according to an account published by the Islamic Republic News Agency.

The seven members of the group that had been coordinating the affairs of the Baha'is at the national level and who have been in prison for some 10 months, responded to the declaration from their prison cell. They stated that if the current arrangements for administering the affairs of the Baha'i community are no longer acceptable to the government, to bring them to a close would not present a major obstacle. They said this is now being done, to further demonstrate the goodwill that the Baha'is have consistently shown to the government for the past 30 years.

The letter, which was also sent to the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations and published late yesterday on the Web site of the United Nations office of the Baha'i International Community, carefully outlines the facts of the oppression of the Iranian Baha'i community since the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979.

"While the harassment and ill-treatment of Baha'is continued uninterrupted during this period, they have been taken to new levels of intensity in recent years as certain elements that have historically been bent on the destruction of the Baha'i community have assumed growing influence in the affairs of the country," says the Baha'i International Community in the communication.

It notes that it was only in response to that persecution that small ad hoc groups were set up to "tend to the spiritual and social needs" of Iran's 300,000 Baha'is - and that for more than 20 years the government has worked with those structures.

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Baha'i International Community sends letter to Iran's chief prosecutor