Baha'i Leaders In Iran Charged With Spying For Israel
PRAGUE -- The International Baha'i Community says it is concerned that seven
imprisoned members of the Baha'i faith are to be tried for charges including
"espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities, and propaganda against
the Islamic republic."
Bahai leaders arrested in Iran. In the front row seated from the
left are Behrouz Tavakkoli and Saeid Rezaie. Standing from the left
are Fariba Kamalabadi, Vahid Tizfahm, Jamaloddin Khanjani and Afif
Naeimi. On the far right is Mahvash Sabet, detained since March.
Diane Ala'i, the Baha'i community's envoy to the UN, told RFE/RL's Radio Farda
that the International Baha'i Community "rejects all the accusations."
"They are just common Iranians who wanted to serve their society and their
country," she added.
Tehran Deputy Prosecutor Hassan Haddad said the case will be sent to a
revolutionary court next week.
Pressure on religious minorities, including Baha'is and
Gonabadi Dervishes, has increased in Iran in recent years.
The Baha'i faith is not recognized in the Iranian Constitution.
The European Union has expressed "serious concern about the continuing
systematic discrimination and harassment of the Iranian Baha'is on the grounds
of their religion."
Copyright (c) 2009 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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