[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]


[Adapted from website:] Center for Human Rights in Iran

[Date:] 17 Dey 1388 [7 January 2010]


Center for Human Rights in Iran

Concerned About the Immediate Execution of Baha’is

The Baha’i Community Is in Serious Danger as the Government Exploits Political Unrest

(17 Dey 1388 [7 January 2010]) – Center for Human Rights in IranToday, the Center for Human Rights in Iran issued a statement announcing that Iranian authorities have increased the charges against seven Baha’i leaders who have been in prison since 2008 so that they could be executed if convicted.

While the Iranian government is trying to use its propaganda machinery to turn the Iranian people against the Baha’is, 12 members of this religious minority have been arrested in recent days.

In news reports that were also broadcast nationwide on Iranian state television, the news anchors claimed that recent demonstrations during Ashura had been led and guided by the Baha’is, although they had not provided any evidence to support these allegations.

Aaron Rhodes, spokesman for the [International] Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said, “Once again, Iran and the world are facing the specter of the execution of Baha’is, this time with fabricated charges and under the pretext of widespread political unrest.”

After Ashura (27 December), Jinous Sobhani, Leva Khanjani, Babak Mobasher, Payam Fanaian, Nika Hoveidaie, Mona Hoveidaie, Artin Ghazanfari, Farid Rouhani, Ahmad Rowhani, Negar Sabet, Ebrahim Shadmehr and Zavosh Shadmehr were arrested as members of the Baha’i religious minority.

The seven Baha’i leaders arrested in June 2008 include Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naimi, Saied Rezaie, Mahvash Sabet, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm. The trial of these individuals is set to begin on 19 January. After their arrest, the charges against these individuals were increased so that they could face the death penalty.

In this regard, Rhodes said, “Given the utterly unjustifiable executions of two groups of Baha’i leaders in the early 1980s, and given the tone and behaviour of the Iranian government against Baha’is, especially after Ashura, there is serious concern for the lives of Baha’i leaders who are due to stand trial soon.”

Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, more than 200 Baha’is have been killed by the Iranian government.

Thousands of Baha’is were arrested, harassed, lost their jobs, subjected to constant surveillance, and eventually had their property confiscated by the government. Baha’is are barred from holding government jobs, and their children are not allowed to enroll in university.

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran calls on the international community and international organizations to condemn the actions of the government of the Islamic Republic, and demand the release of all Baha’is arrested solely for their beliefs, and to call on the Iranian government to end its targeting of Baha’is throughout Iran.