Baha'i leaders make second court appearance

7 February 2010

GENEVA — Seven imprisoned Baha'i leaders appeared in court today in Iran for a second session of their trial.

The session was once again closed, and family members were not permitted in the courtroom, the Baha'i International Community has learned.

The hearing, which lasted just over one hour, does not seem to have gone beyond procedural issues. No date was given for any future sessions.

The seven were arrested nearly two years ago and have been held in Tehran's Evin prison since that time, spending the first year there without formal charges or access to lawyers.

After several postponements, their trial officially began on 12 January, when the seven were arraigned in Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran.

That session was also closed to the public, but accounts in government-sponsored news media said the defendants were formally charged with espionage, propaganda activities against the Islamic order, the establishment of an illegal administration, cooperation with Israel, sending secret documents outside the country, acting against the security of the country, and corruption on earth.

All the charges have been categorically denied. The defendants are Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Naeimi, Mr. Saeid Rezaie, Mrs. Mahvash Sabet, Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Mr. Vahid Tizfahm.