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Bahais Face Trial, Execution in Iran


The Obama administration and the supporters of its approach says that its restrained approach to human-rights advocacy is meant to avoid tainting the people whom it wants to help.

Such a strategy may not work for the seven imprisoned Bahai in Iran, who face trial on July 11 (Update here). The Iranian regime needs to understand that such blatant religious persecution has consequences.  Silence may convince the Iranian leadership that they can get away with murder.

According to Amnesty International:

The detainees’ families were told in May that they were now facing the additional charge of mofsed fil arz (being corrupt on earth), which can carry the death penalty, and that a new date for their trial has been set. They are scheduled to appear on 11 July before Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran where they are likely to be charged with mofsed fil arz, as well as “espionage for Israel”, “insulting religious sanctities” and “propaganda against the system.” Their lawyers have never been able to visit them since their arrest, though they have been allowed family visits.

The seven are members of a group responsible for the Baha’i community’s religious and administrative affairs in Iran. They are held in Section 209 of Evin Prison, which is run by the Ministry of Intelligence. Six of the group’s leaders – Fariba Kamalabadi Taefi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli and Vahid Tizfahm – were arrested following raids on their homes by officers from the Ministry of Intelligence on 14 May 2008. A seventh person, acting as a secretary for the group, Mahvash Sabet, had been arrested on 5 March 2008. Fariba Kamalabadi Taefi, Behrouz Tavakkoli and Jamaloddin Khanjani had previously been arrested for their activities on behalf of the Baha’i community. The Baha’i faith is not recognized under the Iranian Constitution.