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World Briefings: Asia, Europe, Middle East

Published: December 24, 200



The United States condemned the imprisonment and alleged persecution of Zabihullah Mahrami, who it said was imprisoned in Iran for belonging to the Bahai faith and who died in prison on Dec. 15. A statement from Adam Ereli, the State Department's deputy spokesman, did not give the cause of death. He was believed to have been 59 years old. The Iranian government has been silent about Mr. Mahrami. His death was not reported in Iranian newspapers. He was sentenced to death for apostasy, the rejection of his religion, in January 1996 by a Revolutionary Court in Yazd, in central Iran. Mr. Mahrami, like many Bahais, was subject to harassment after the Islamic revolution in 1979. The sect was held to be apostasy from Islam, which carries the death penalty in the Islamic code as it is applied in Iran. (AP)

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