2009-05-28 / Community

Baha’is mark anniversary of imprisonment leaders in Iran

DAVISON TWP. — Baha’is in Davison Township will host a public meeting of prayer June 7 to mark the one-year anniversary of the imprisonment of seven Baha’i leaders in Iran, who have spent a year in jail without formal charges or access to their lawyer, Shirin Ebadi.

The families of the prisoners were recently informed that a new accusation has been lodged against them by the Iranian government, the charge of “spreading corruption on earth,” which carries the threat of death under Iran’s penal code.

The public meeting, to be held in the Louhelen Baha’i School Prayer Refuge at 3:30 p.m., will include brief presentations by two special guests: Pegah Ouji, a Baha’i who immigrated to the United States from Iran in 2006 and Mandana Moshrafzadeh, a Baha’i from Minneapolis who was born in Iran and has relatives who have been persecuted there.

Local Baha’is are also writing to their members of Congress, and urging others to do the same, to gather additional cosponsors for two resolutions, HRs 175 and S.Res.71, currently before the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate respectively, which call for the release of the Iranian Baha’i leaders and other Baha’i prisoners.

Bani Dugal, the principal representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations, said on May 12 that “despite their obvious innocence and the call by many for their immediate release, these seven men and women have been in legal limbo for a year now, against all international human rights standards.”

Updates and background on the situation of the Baha’is in Iran are posted at http://iran.bahai.us. To learn more about the Baha’i Faith in America, check www.bahai.us. — G.G.

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