Date set for seven Baha'i leaders' next court session

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onepence~2
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Date set for seven Baha'i leaders' next court session

Postby onepence~2 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:24 pm

Date set for seven Baha'i leaders' next court session

20 January 2010

http://news.bahai.org/story/750

GENEVA — Iranian authorities have notified the lawyers of seven imprisoned Baha'i leaders that the next session of their trial will be held on 7 February, the Baha'i International Community learned today.

At their first court appearance, held 12 January in Tehran, the charges were read to the seven, who categorically denied the accusations.

"While we know little about what actually took place inside the court, we can now say for certain that these seven innocent Baha'is stood up and firmly rejected all of the charges against them," said Diane Ala'i of the Baha'i International Community.

"We can also say that, based on the international outcry that accompanied the first session of their trial, the world is watching this proceeding closely and that the Iranian government will be held accountable for any injustices," she said.

The charges against the seven, according to accounts in government-sponsored news media, were: espionage, "propaganda activities against the Islamic order," the establishment of an "illegal administration," cooperation with Israel, sending secret documents outside the country, acting against the security of the country, and "corruption on earth."

The seven defendants 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 of the group were arrested on 14 May 2008 at their homes in Tehran. Mrs. Sabet was arrested on 5 March 2008 while in Mashhad. They have been held in Tehran's Evin prison ever since, spending their first year there without formal charges or any access to lawyers.

RonPrice
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Re: Date set for seven Baha'i leaders' next court session

Postby RonPrice » Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:24 am

Nazi-like Iranian Cabal
Charges Bahais With Spreading 'Corruption On Earth'
A Historical Context

In Iran’s Goebbels'-style show trial of 12 January 2010 in Teheran, a Nazi-like cabal has charged seven Bahá'ís with "spreading corruption on earth." This ridiculous charge against members of a peaceful religious community lends credence to the view that Iran is in the process of intensifying its official and systematic quasi-genocidal pogrom. Iranian administration in the last 160 years has often desired to exterminate the Bahá'í Faith from Iran. This has become very difficult in our media-saturated world. This threat of genocide is just part of a process that has been an on-again-off-again exercise in Iran for more than a century and a half.

The charges against these seven Bahá'í leaders in Iran are so ludicrous that if it were not for the severity of the consequences related to their trial, the charges would be laughable. Yet no one is laughing. That's because the knavish Nazi-like Iranian cabal of religious clerics has charged Bahá'ís with Mofsed fel-Arz. In English this translates as spreading corruption on earth.

The penalty in Iran for this crime is death. It's not very funny when the possible consequence is murder by hanging. There are other charges against the seven according to accounts in government-sponsored news media. These charges include: espionage, propaganda activities against the Islamic order, the establishment of an illegal administration, cooperation with Israel, sending secret documents outside the country, acting against the security of the country, and Mofsed fel-Arz.

“The international Bahá'í community finds these charges completely outrageous given that these seven people have been held purely because of their religious beliefs. The charges are also in total denial of their legitimate human rights and in contradiction of any natural and humane community standards," said Diane Ala'i, the Baha'i International Community's representative to the United Nations in Geneva.

The Iranian mass media quote the tyrannical Islamic regime in stories, and, if the world is fortunate, the quotations from this mass media will include a statement by the Bahá'í International Community. This story in 21st century Iran is much like the one in Germany between 1933 and 1945. It’s much like quoting Goebbels or Hitler in the run-up to The Holocaust and then balancing their quotes with quotations from Western sources decrying the threat to Jews in Germany and the rest of Europe.

It’s not just a dangerous exercise in journalistic "objectivity" that the media play. It’s dishonest, unjust and criminal. By pretensions of objectivity, the media grant legitimacy to tyrannical, oppressive and murderous regimes for the sake of appearing "balanced." Such media coverage shows how contemporary journalism shames itself by holding to the myth of presenting "both" sides in every story.

Yet there are not two sides in the equation of quasi-genocide when a tyrannical regime is the one that holds all the power and does all the murdering. That is especially true when one needs to consider that the Bahá'í Faith's laws--which guide Bahá'ís throughout the world—prohibit the Bahá'ís from resorting to any sort of violence against a regime to resist their religious persecution.

Thus, the Baha’is are easy pickings for such genocidal regimes and their misguided adherents who have semi-deified the Islamic Republic of Iran. In Iran, Bahá'ís are the ideal scapegoats for a criminal regime that attempts to distract the public's attention from problems caused by that very same regime. Mythical threats posed by Iran's largest religious minority of approximately 300,000 adherents in a country of nearly 75 million are an old story going back to the 19th century.

With a numerical advantage of 1 to 250 one has to wonder what the Islamic clerics fear. Perhaps they fear the truth. Perhaps that is what the clerics have always feared. Iranians should be ashamed for their complicity in allowing the genocide of Bahá'ís to continue for at least five generations with hardly a whisper of opposition. Indeed, some academics have recently expressed their public shame on an internet document/letter in their continuing to ignore the treatment of the Iranian Baha’i community for over a century.

For generations Iranians have been coming for and at the Bahá'ís and treating them with unbelievable atrocities. No one complained because it did no good. Often groups of Iranians came for the Bahá'ís and killed hundreds of them; periodically since 1844 the Babi-Bahá’í religion has seen thousands of its adherents slaughtered. The total dead in modern history is, arguably: 25000 to 30000 from 1844 to 2010.

This quasi-genocidal experience over some 17 decades and humanity's near silence and inaction has got lost in a sea of other international atrocities and tempests. In recent years and months it is clear that the Iranian government and its several arms of authority have turned on a wide cross-section of the Iranian people—not just the Baha’is. Now Iran, so very tragically and so very sadly, is beginning to reap the fruit of the harvest that generations of religious intolerance has sowed.

In 1979 the Iranian people threw off a despotism and swept its counterfeit claims to modernity into history's dustbin. Their revolution was the achievement of the combined forces of many groups, but its driving force was the ideals of Islam. In place of wanton self-indulgence, people were promised lives of dignity and decency. Gross inequities of class and wealth would be overcome by the spirit of brotherhood enjoined by God. The natural resources with which providence has endowed so fortunate a land were declared to be the patrimony of the entire Iranian people, to be used to provide universal employment and education. A new "Islamic Constitution" ostensibly enshrined solemn guarantees of equality before the law for all citizens of the republic. Government would endeavour conscientiously to combine spiritual values with the principles of democratic choice.

How do such promises relate to the experience being described after more than 30 years by the great majority of Iran's population? From all sides today one hears cries of protest against endemic corruption, political manipulation, the mistreatment of women, a shameless violation of human rights and the suppression of thought. What is the effect on public consciousness, one must further ask, of appeals to the authority of the Holy Qur'an to justify policies that lead to such conditions?

Iran's crisis of civilization will be resolved neither by blind imitation of an obviously defective Western culture nor by retreat into medieval ignorance. One of the most appalling afflictions, in terms of its tragic consequences of Iran’s flight into a quasi-medievalism, has been the slander of the Bahá'í Cause perpetrated by that privileged caste to whom Persia's masses had been taught to look for guidance in spiritual matters. For over 150 years, every medium of public information-- pulpit, press, radio, television and even scholarly publication--has been perverted to create an image of the Bahá'í community and its beliefs that is grossly false and whose sole aim is to arouse popular contempt and antagonism. No calumny has been too vile; no lie too outrageous.

At no point during those long years were the Iranian Baha’is, the victims of this vilification, given an opportunity, however slight, to defend themselves and to provide the facts that would have exposed such calculated poisoning of the public mind. This show-trial in Teheran is just the latest chapter in what is now approaching to be two centuries of persecution of the Bahá'í Faith.
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The above article has been paraphrased and edited by Ron Price, a Bahá'í living in Tasmania. The original article was located at the internet site "Bahá'í epistolary" and was posted at that site on January 12th 2010 by Glenn Franco Simmons. This article by Ron Price has also drawn on information from: (a) another news item dated 20/1/’10 at the internet site: Bahá'í World News Service of the International Bahá'í Community and (b) from a letter of the Universal House of Justice dated 26 November 2003. Ron Price thanks all three of these sources in putting together this brief historical comment on the present trial of the seven Baha’is in Iran.
(1300 words)
I have been married for 44 years, a teacher for 35, a writer and editor for 13, and a Baha'i for 53(in 2012). I have lived in Australia since 1971 & am now retired and on a pension.

brettz9
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Re: Date set for seven Baha'i leaders' next court session

Postby brettz9 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:25 pm

That was a very compelling and morally forceful article. Thank you very much for that...

Maybe you could offer it to/at http://www.iranpresswatch.org/

best wishes,
Brett


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