Authorities have now presented the 7 Baha’is with charges connected to national security. None have access to legal counsel and all are at risk of phypublished on Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Authorities have now presented the 7 Baha’is with charges connected to national security. None have access to legal counsel and all are at risk of physical assault.
AI Index: MDE 13/109/2008
6 August 2008
Further Information on UA 128/08 (MDE 13/068/2008, 15 May 2008) Arbitrary arrests / Prisoners of conscience
Members of the Baha’i community:
Fariba Kamalabadi Taefi (f)
Jamaloddin Khanjani (m)
Afif Naeimi (m)
Saeid Rezaei (m)
Behrouz Tavakkoli (m)
Vahid Tizfahm (m)
Mahvash Sabet (f)
The seven people named above, all members of the Baha’i religious minority, have been charged with vaguely worded charges relating to national security. According to press reports, Tehran's deputy prosecutor claimed that they had “confessed” to setting up an illegal organisation in Iran that took orders from Israel and other states to undermine the ‘Islamic system’. Amnesty International considers the charges politically motivated and that those held are prisoners of conscience, detained solely because of their conscientiously held beliefs or their peaceful activities on behalf of the Baha’i community.
A spokesperson for the Baha'i International Community to the United Nations, rebutted claims made by the authorities, stating that "suggestions of collusion with the state of Israel are categorically false and misleading”.
Six leaders of a group responsible for the Baha’i community’s religious and administrative affairs in Iran (Fariba Kamalabadi Taefi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli and Vahid Tizfahm), were arrested following raids on their homes by officers from the Ministry of Intelligence in the early hours of 14 May. A seventh person, acting as a secretary for the group, Mahvash Sabet, has been in custody since 5 March.
The seven are in solitary confinement in Section 209 of Tehran's Evin Prison, which is run by the Ministry of Intelligence. Six of them – all except Behrouz Tavakkoli – have had two visits from relatives but none has been granted access to legal representatives.
Fariba Kamalabadi Taefi, Behrouz Tavakkoli and Jamaloddin Khanjani had previously been arrested for their activities on behalf of the Baha’i community.
Three other Baha’is are also currently detained in the city of Shiraz, southern Iran. The reason for their arrest is still not known. They may be prisoners of conscience (See UA 25/08; MDE 13/017/2008, 25 January 2008).