Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
April 20, 1999
Imprisonment of Four Baha'is in Iran
We are deeply concerned about the recent sentencing to prison of four Iranian citizens for the exercise of their Baha'i faith. The four instructors from the Baha'i Institute of Higher Education, Sina Hakiman, Farzad Khajeh Sharifabadi, Habibullah Ferdosian Najafabadi and Ziaullah Mirzapanah, were convicted for teaching Baha'i religious classes and were sentenced to terms ranging from three to ten years.
Imprisoning people for the practice of their religious faith is contrary to the most fundamental international human rights principles.
We condemn the Iranian government's persecution of the followers of the Baha'i faith, and we urge President Khatemi to ensure the immediate release of all Baha'is who have been imprisoned for the observance and expression of their religion. We will continue to monitor closely the treatment of all minority religions in Iran.
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