[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]


[Adapted from website:] Baha’i World News Service

[Date:] 22 Tir 1388 (13 July 2009)


The seven Baha’is who were said to be on trial on 20 Tir [11 July] and whose trial has apparently been postponed, are, from the top left: Behrouz Tavakkoli, Fariba Kamalabadi, Vahid Tizfahm, Mahvash Sabet; bottom, from left, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Saied Rezaie and Afif Naimi.

Postponement of the trial of Baha’i Community Leaders

Geneva - Iranian authorities have reportedly told the families of seven Baha’is currently being held in Evin Prison that their trials have been postponed. No new date has been set for this trial.

The trial of the seven, who have been imprisoned in Tehran for more than a year, was scheduled to take place on Saturday, 20 Tir 1388 (11 July 2009). Of course, the news of this trial was also based on the verbal statements of the officials, which have been rendered unreliable many times before.

These seven people were arrested in the spring of 1387 [2008] and have been in prison for more than a year without any formal charges or the right to consult with their lawyers. Iran’s official news agency reported that they had been charged with “espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic Republic.”

These prisoners are Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Naimi, Mr. Saied Rezaie, Mrs. Mahvash Sabet, Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Mr. Vahid Tizfahm. Mrs. Mahvash Sabet was arrested in Mashhad on 15 Esfand 1387 (5 March 2008); the rest were arrested in Tehran on 25 Ordibehesht 1387 (14 May 2008).

The Baha’i International Community has repeatedly stated that the detention of these individuals is solely because of their religious beliefs and has demanded their immediate release from prison.

These calls for the release of seven imprisoned Baha’is are also reflected in statements by governments and human rights organizations around the world. On Friday, Amnesty International issued a statement calling on Iranian authorities to release these seven people.

On Thursday, in response to a letter by Roxanna Saberi, an Iranian American journalist who was imprisoned for nearly four months in Iran, the International Commission on Religious Freedom in the United States issued the same request for the release of these [seven] people.

On the same day, Angelika Beer, a member of the European Parliament, called for the release of these prisoners, or at least their open, free and fair trial, on behalf of the members of the Iranian Commission in the European Parliament.