The seven Baha’i leaders in Iran, imprisoned for more than two years, face their fourth court appearance on 12 June 2010, the Baha’i World News Service has reported.
The trial of the seven began on 12 January after they had been incarcerated without charge in Tehran’s Evin prison for 20 months.
Further hearings in Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran took place on 7 February and 12 April.
“In the court sessions held so far, no evidence of wrongdoing has been presented. As their lawyers have confirmed, the defendants are completely innocent and are being persecuted solely for their religious belief,” said Diane Ala’i, Baha’i representative to the United Nations in Geneva.
“The Iranian government should know that its actions against these innocent citizens are under scrutiny throughout the world,” she said.
“Once again we call for their immediate release. Failing that, the seven should – at the very least – be released on bail pending a fair trial.”
Baha’is in the UK, amongst whom are relatives of the imprisoned Baha’is in Iran, are anxiously waiting for the outcome of this protracted and unjust trial.
The seven defendants are Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Mahvash Sabet, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm. Before their imprisonment, they attended to the spiritual and social needs of Iran’s Baha’i community, which numbers more than 300,000. Mrs Sabet was arrested on 5 March 2008 and the others on 14 May 2008.
There are currently some 38 Baha’is in detention in various cities in Iran.
With thanks to Barney Leith