7.11.2009

The Eyes of the World Focus on Iran

There has been an outpouring of condemnation of what has been characterized as a show trial of seven Baha'i leaders in Iran scheduled for July 11. The seven Baha'is are falsely accused of espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic Republic.

U. S. Commission on International Religious Freedom Chair Leonard Leo states: "The charges against these imprisoned Baha’is are baseless and a pretext for the persecution and harassment of a disfavored religious minority. They should be released immediately. . . " And U.S. Congressman Frank Wolf points out that the seven Baha'is have been "unjustly held for over a year without formal charges or access to their attorneys" and that "[t]hey will reportedly be charged with 'espionage for Israel,' a crime which is punishable by death."

British Foreign Office Minister Ivan Lewis MP, in a meeting of the U.K.'s Parliament, called for "maximum transparency and openness in the way in which that trial is conducted" and urged that "[t]he judicial process should be conducted along the lines of international best practice, and international observers should be allowed to witness every conceivable stage of those court proceedings.” In the same session of Parliament, Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik noted that "[t]he Baha’is seek no special privileges. . . All they seek are conditions that accord with the International Bill of Human Rights, of which Iran is a signatory. The right to life, the right to profess and practise their religion, the right to liberty and security of person, and the right to education and work: those are not heady demands."

Several of Germany's Parliamentary groups also addressed the issue, "demand[ing] the immediate and unconditional release of the leaders of the Baha’i religious community" in Iran. Norway’s Foreign Ministry recently summoned Iran’s charge d’affaires in Oslo to express its concern for the human rights situation in Iran, including that of the seven imprisoned Baha'i leaders, "urg[ing] the Iranian authorities to respect the religious beliefs of all minorities in Iran."

Many eyes, hearts and prayers are focused on this situation right now, as well as on the cause of human rights in Iran. Let us hope that some modicum of justice and fair mindedness is extended to the seven Baha'i leaders who face execution in Iran, and that the suffering of the people of Iran will soon be eased.

3 comments:

Jarome said...

http://www.iranpresswatch.org/post/4316
Video about the persecution of Baha'is in Iran using music by Baha'i artist, Elika Mahony was posted today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMf5kqGZ1EI

Victor said...

Thank you, Jarome, for sharing this moving video.

A general note to all that the trial has been delayed. See http://www.iranpresswatch.org/post/4316

http://tajasom.wordpress.com/ said...

Very informative. Thank you.