Saturday, July 04, 2009

Baha'i Rights Day

I just heard that Thursday July 9th will be designated as Baha'i Rights Day to raise awareness about the persecution of the Iranian Baha'is. This will fall two days before the recently announced trial of the seven Baha'is who have been held prisoner for over a year by the Islamic Republic on unfounded charges:

The trial of seven Iranian Baha'i leaders, arrested in the spring of 2008, is scheduled to be held at Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court on July 11, 2009. American-Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi was recently convicted of espionage in Branch 28 of this Court and sentenced to eight years imprisonment. She was eventually released, but only after an international outcry at the clear politicization of the case and manifestly unjust legal procedures. News of the July 11 trial date was conveyed only orally to the family members by authorities at Evin prison, where the seven Baha'i leaders are being held. As information conveyed by officials concerning the judicial process has often proved unreliable, it is possible that the Iranian authorities may find some reason to change the trial date. The seven Baha'i leaders have been held for over a year without formal charges or access to their attorneys. Official Iranian news reports have said the Baha'is will be accused of “espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic Republic.” The charge of “espionage for Israel” is punishable by death. (Read here about media coverage)

If you are a blogger, you're encouraged to spread the word about Baha'i rights day and to blog about the persecution of the Iranian Baha'is on July 9th. If you're someone who reads blogs, let other people know about this initiative and comment on blogs that are addressing this issue.