Date set for seven Baha'i leaders' next court session

January 20, 2010

GENEVA, Switzerland — Iranian authorities have notified the lawyers of seven imprisoned Baha'i leaders that the next session of their trial will be held on 7 February, the Baha'i International Community learned today.

At their first court appearance, held 12 January in Tehran, the charges were read to the seven, who categorically denied the accusations.

"While we know little about what actually took place inside the court, we can now say for certain that these seven innocent Baha'is stood up and firmly rejected all of the charges against them," said Diane Ala'i of the Baha'i International Community.

"We can also say that, based on the international outcry that accompanied the first session of their trial, the world is watching this proceeding closely and that the Iranian government will be held accountable for any injustices," she said.

The charges against the seven, according to accounts in government-sponsored news media, were: 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."

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.

All but one of the group were arrested on 14 May 2008 at their homes in Tehran. Mrs. Sabet was arrested on 5 March 2008 while in Mashhad. They have been held in Tehran's Evin prison ever since, spending their first year there without formal charges or any access to lawyers.