[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
[Adapted from website:] Baha’i World News Service
[Date:] 21 Tir 1388 (12 July 2009)
The trial of seven Baha’is was postponed
Source: Radio Farda
In an interview with Radio Farda, Diane Alai, the representative of the Baha’i Community at the UN office in Geneva, said that the trial of seven Baha’i citizens scheduled for Saturday had been postponed.
Ms. Alai said that judicial authorities had informed the families of the seven detained Baha’is that their trial had been postponed, but that it was not clear when the trial would take place.
Ms. Alai once again denied the allegations, saying that the lawyers for the seven, Shirin Ebadi, before leaving Iran, and Abdol-Fattah Soltani before his arrest, had not been able to contact their clients.
It was previously announced that seven Baha’i citizens would be tried on Saturday in the Revolutionary Court of Tehran on charges of corruption on earth, espionage for Israel, blasphemy against the sanctities and propaganda against the regime.
Amnesty International, which says the seven will face the death penalty if they are sentenced, has called on government authorities to release them.
The Baha’i International Community says the accusation of espionage for Israel, which “has been levelled against Iranian Baha’is for years”, “stems only from the fact that the Baha’i World Centre is located in Israel.
The seven members of the Baha’i community in Iran who were arrested in April 2008 (Ordibehesht 1387) and are currently in prison are Mahvash Sabet, Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naimi, Saied Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm. According to the Baha’i community, they were responsible for the [welfare] of the followers of this religion in Iran.
Last Thursday, the International Commission on Religious Freedom in the United States issued a statement urging the Iranian government to drop the trial of the seven individuals on charges of spying for Israel and religious apostasy, and to prepare for their release.
The statement was issued in response to a letter addressed to the commission by Roxana Saberi, an Iranian American journalist.