As Iran continues its practice of denying human rights to millions of its citizens … students, women, journalists, bloggers, and religious minorities … the situation in Iran has turned dangerous for the Bahá’í community, the largest religious minority in Iran.
The deputy Tehran prosecutor has announced that seven imprisoned Bahá’í leaders (seen in the photo) will be going on trial the week of February 15 on completely trumped-up charges, including propaganda against the Islamic republic and espionage for Israel, a capital offense in Iran.
The Nobel Laureate, Shirin Ebadi, is their lawyer, but has been prevented from meeting with the Bahá’í leaders and from having access to their files.
The National Spiritual Assembly of the United States urgently calls on each Bahá’í to immediately take the following actions:
- Hold your own prayer gatherings for the safety of the Friends in Iran.
- Organize prayer gatherings in your community, in consultation with your Local Spiritual Assembly, as soon as possible for the safety of the Iranian Bahá’í leaders and for the amelioration of the deplorable situation of religious freedom in Iran. These gatherings should be open to the public and the members of your local media should be invited. Reach out to your Christian, Jewish and Muslim friends, and to your interfaith groups, as well as to all those concerned about religious freedom in Iran. The main purpose of such gatherings is for prayer, and it is essential that they should uphold and exemplify the Bahá’í standard of non-involvement in partisan politics. Discussion on matters outside the scope of religious freedom and human rights should be strictly avoided.
- Contact your federal Congressional Representatives from both the House of Representatives and the Senate, by telephone or email, or in person at their district offices. Express to them or their staff your deep concern for the Iranian Bahá’í leaders whose lives are in danger. Most of the members of Congress will be in their home districts the week of February 15, as there is a Congressional recess at that time. You may find the following websites useful in identifying your Congressional Representatives:
www.house.gov and type in your Zip Code + 4
www.senate.gov and select your state
Timely updates are online at the official blog, Persecution of Bahá’í’s in Iran, including links to government statements and media coverage.