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Next court date for Iran's Baha'i leaders will be 11 April

Source: Baha'i World News Service, GENEVA


A third court date has been announced for seven Baha'i leaders imprisoned in Iran, the Baha'i International Community has learned. The trial proceedings - begun on 12 January after the seven had been incarcerated in Tehran's Evin prison for 20 months - will continue on Sunday, 11 April, according to information conveyed orally to their attorneys. 


Baha'i leadership group arrested in the spring of 2008. Seated from left, Behrouz Tavakkoli and Saeid Rezaie, and, standing, Fariba Kamalabadi, Vahid Tizfahm, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, and Mahvash Sabet.



Government-sponsored news media reported that at the first hearing, the seven were charged with espionage, propaganda activities against the Islamic order, the establishment of an illegal administration, cooperation with Israel, sending secret documents outside the country, acting against the security of the country, and corruption on earth.


The defendants categorically deny all accusations.


A second hearing, held on 7 February, was concerned mainly with procedural matters.


The seven are Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Naeimi, Mr. Saeid Rezaie, Mrs. Mahvash Sabet, Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Mr. Vahid Tizfahm. They were responsible for tending to the spiritual and social needs of Iran's 300,000 Baha'is, after formal Baha'i institutions were dissolved in 1983.


The court proceedings have come at the same time as more Baha'is have been arrested in Tehran. About 13 individuals were rounded up on 3 January, with 10 of them still in custody, and another 13 were detained last week, with 11 of them still jailed.


There are at present more than 60 Baha'is in detention in various cities in Iran.


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