Third court session held for Baha'i leaders in Iran

12 April 2010

GENEVA — The seven imprisoned Iranian Baha'i leaders were called to court today in Tehran for a third session in their trial. The hearing was again closed, and no details are available.

"We know that a session did take place, but we do not have any specific information from reliable sources," said Diane Ala'i, the representative of the Baha'i International Community to the United Nations in Geneva.

"These seven innocent Baha'is will soon enter their third year of imprisonment," she said. "At the very least, they should have been released on bail pending the outcome of the tortuous judicial process they have been subjected to. This is unacceptable in light of international human rights law."

The seven have been held in Tehran's Evin prison since they were arrested in 2008. No court hearing was held until 12 January this year when they appeared in Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court and charges were read.

Accusations include espionage, propaganda activities against the Islamic order, and "corruption on earth."

A second court session on 7 February was largely procedural.

The seven defendants are Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Naeimi, Mr. Saeid Rezaie, Mrs. Mahvash Sabet, Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Mr. Vahid Tizfahm. Mrs. Sabet was arrested on 5 March 2008 and the others on 14 May 2008.

They have categorically denied all the charges.