Tonight I attended a prayer event at the Toronto Baha’i Centre in Honour of the “Seven Friends of Iran” (Seven men and women who manage the affairs of the Baha’i Community in Iran. These individuals are Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr. Jamoladdin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Naeimi, Mr. Saeed Rezayi, Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli, Mr. Vahid Tizfahms and Mrs. Mahvash Sabet.

As many of the readers may be aware one of the individuals named above was arbitrarily arrested in March of 2008 and the remaining six in May of 2008. Up until recently all were being held arbitrarily and without any charges in the Evin Prison, however last week they were charged with some very serious charges including espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic Republic. If convicted some of these charges may lead to the death penalty.
There has been a great public outcry about this atrocity, not only from the Baha’i Community, but internationally.

Tonight’s event had two very remarkable aspects.

1. Even though the entire event was organized within 24 hours, there was great turn out which I believe shows the strength and the solidarity of the Baha’i Community.

2. It was an extremely positive event focusing on hope, prayer and positive energy. Many of us (I am also guilty of this) are so focused on pointing out the human rights violations which occur in Iran, that we forget that change also requires hope, positive energy and the belief that change is possible and that it’s on its way.

I hope to see many more similar events, not only within teh Baha’i Community, but the entire Iranian community. In solidarity there is strength and in that strength there is great hope for change.

In solidarity with the “Seven Friends of Iran” as well as all other political prisoners and their families.

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