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Trial Postponed

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

lawyers.



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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