Seven jailed Iranian Baha’i religious leaders faced a third court session in their ongoing trial in Tehran on 12 April 2010. No details of the closed hearing were made available.
“We know that a session did take place, but we do not have any specific information from reliable sources,” said Diane Ala’i, Baha’i International Community representative to the United Nations in Geneva.
“These seven innocent Baha’is will soon enter their third year of imprisonment,” she said. “At the very least, they should have been released on bail pending the outcome of the tortuous judicial process they have been subjected to. This is unacceptable in light of international human rights law.”
Human rights organisations have called for the release of the men and women.
The seven have been held in Tehran’s Evin prison since they were arrested in 2008, but the did not appear in court until 12 January this year, when they were charged in Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court with espionage, propaganda activities against the Islamic order, and “corruption on earth.”
A second court session on 7 February was largely procedural, reports the Baha’i World News Service and Baha'i News UK (http://bahainews-uk.info/).
The seven defendants are Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Mahvash Sabet, Behrouz Tavakkoli and Vahid Tizfahm.
Mrs Sabet was arrested on 5 March 2008 and the others on 14 May 2008. They have categorically denied all the charges.
Baha’is in the UK and across the world, including relatives of the seven, remain anxious about the fate of their fellow believers.
The Baha'i faith is focused around the message of Bahá’u’lláh,whose essential message was of unity. He taught the oneness of God, the oneness of the human family, and the oneness of religion.