Sunday, July 05, 2009

Trial and Tribulation: World-wide Prayer Chain for Baha'i Prisoners


Just found about about a world-wide prayer chain that will be taking place on July 10th. This is a great complement to the Baha'i Rights Day initiative that is being planned for July 9th. Details about the prayer chain come from bahaidream.com are included in detail below:

On 14 May 2008 agents of the Ministry of Intelligence of the Islamic Republic of Iran arrested 6 members of the Yaran without charge. The Yaran was a group of Baha'is which tended to the basic needs of the Iranian Baha'i community. The 7th member of the Yaran had been arrested on 5 March 2008. When detained, none of their basic rights were respected. Their relatives have had no news of their whereabouts for months. So far they have not been allowed to meet their lawyer, the Nobel Peace prize laureate, Shirin Ebadi.

Seven months after their arrest the charges brought against them were released: "espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic Republic". Three months after the alleged investigation was completed a fourth charge was added to the other three: "spreading corruption on earth". Some of these charges could attract the death penalty.

Needless to say, those accusations are utterly baseless and only seek to demonize and inflict further harm on the Baha'is.

International reaction to news that the seven Yaran would be tried came swiftly as governments, parliamentary leaders and human rights organizations strongly criticised the trial as well as the charges brought against the Baha'is. They all have called on the Iranian government to release them or at least, to grant them a fair trial and to allow them to meet Shirin Ebadi.

Eventually, just a few days ago, information was conveyed by the authorities in Evin prison (where the 7 Baha'is are held) to the relatives of the Yaran pointing out that the trial would reportedly take place on 11 July, fourteen months after their arrest.

That's the reason why you are invited to join a worldwide prayer chain organised by BahaiDream.com and EjercitoDePaz.com. The prayer chain will take place over 24 hours on 10 July, one day before the reported date of the trial.

To join the chain please choose a time slot and type your name, country of origin and e-mail address (which will not be released -we will use it only send you a reminder). For further information, please contact us at horaciones@bahaidream.com

NOTE: ALL TIMES ARE SET ON GMT +0 (London)

You may want to use the following website to calculate your time zone: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html.