Daily News header

Baha'i "Spying" Case Strikes New Blow Against Religious Freedom in Iran

By

Washington - February 12, 2009 - Freedom House strongly condemns the Iranian government's decision to try seven members of the Baha'i faith next week on contrived charges including "spying for Israel." The five men and two women should be released immediately, along with dozens of other Baha'is who are in prison for exercising their human right to religious freedom.

In addition to the espionage charge, the seven are accused of "insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic Republic," although no evidence has been presented. Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi is representing the seven Baha'i detainees in court, but has yet to gain access to their case files.

image001
Iran has executed hundreds of Baha'is - the country's largest non-Muslim minority - since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. The 300,000 adherents to the Baha'i faith who live in Iran regularly face unwarranted arrests, false imprisonment and torture. The Baha'i religion, which was founded in nineteenth century Persia, is banned in Iran.

"It is deeply ironic that the Iranian regime is seeking greater international legitimacy, while it escalates a brutal campaign against anyone perceived to be a threat in the lead up to the presidential election in June," said Jennifer Windsor, Freedom House executive director. "The case of the seven Baha'is is part of a larger crackdown on reform-minded political activists, human rights organizations and bloggers that Freedom House is monitoring closely."

Among the most high-profile cases is that of Iranian-Canadian blogger Hossein Derakhshan, who was arrested in Iran late last year on similar charges of "espionage for Israel." In January, a lawyer for world-renowned AIDS physicians Arash and Kamiar Alei said the brothers were sentenced to several years in prison on charges of participating in a "soft coup funded by the CIA."

Iran is ranked Not Free in the 2009 edition of Freedom in the World, Freedom House's survey of political rights and civil liberties. The country, led by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, received a downward trend arrow this year because of the government's decision to disqualify dozens of candidates for elected office and close numerous media outlets. Iran also received a ranking of Not Free in the 2008 edition of Freedom of the Press.

Freedom House, an independent nongovernmental organization that supports the expansion of freedom in the world, has been monitoring political rights and civil liberties in Iran since 1972.


www.freedomhouse.org

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Top Stories News

For the first time, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued guidelines on testing, treating and managing latent TB infection (LTBI) in individuals with high risk of developing the disease.
The Chicago Actors Studio; which has turned out many stars, is discussed here by The Hollywood Sentinel.
As HIV prevention needs and contexts vary, it is important to expand the range of effective prevention options that people can use, Archbishop Desmond Tutu said.
Nepalis are pessimistic about a new constitution being completed, and political players are more interested in their own power than getting anything done.
Russian model and actress Ellen Alexander has been named on many lists as Hollywood's Sexiest new Rising Star. This is an exclusive interview with the actress and fashion model who is taking the entertainment industry by storm.
As implementation of domestic tobacco control laws and global tobacco treaty advance, the tobacco industry is facing the heat. The industry has sued governments when they attempt to implement life-saving tobacco controls

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month



Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site