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Thoughts and news from the Lexington Baha'is.

Trial Postponed

By Bahai on 08/19/09 10:19

GENEVA — The trial of seven Baha’i leaders imprisoned in Iran has been
postponed until October 18, 2009, the Baha’i International Community
learned today.

According to Diane Ala’i, the Baha’i International Community
representative to the United Nations in Geneva, following a request
for postponement of the trial from Mr. Hadi Elsmaielzadeh and Ms.
Mahnaz Parakand — attorneys from the Defenders of Human Rights Center
who are representing the seven Baha’is — the court has decided to
delay the hearing for two months.

Two senior members of the legal team, Nobel laureate Mrs. Shirin Ebadi
and Mr. Abdolfattah Soltani, were unable to attend the hearing as Mrs.
Ebadi is out of the country and Mr. Soltani is in prison, having been
detained on June 16, 2009 in the wake of the civil unrest following
the presidential election in Iran.

“Our hope now is that our seven innocent co-religionists will be
released on bail,” said Ms. Ala’i.

The seven Baha’i prisoners 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 in the group
were arrested on May 14, 2008 at their homes in Tehran. Mrs. Sabet was
arrested on March 5, 2008 while in Mashhad. They have since been held
at Tehran’s Evin prison without formal charges or access to their

Official Iranian news accounts have said the seven are to be accused
of “espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and
propaganda against the Islamic republic.”

The Baha’i International Community categorically rejects all charges
against the seven, stating that they are held solely because of
religious persecution.

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