Roxana Saberi, the Iranian-American journalist who was recently freed after being arrested and charged with spying in Iran, has joined with the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom to call for the release of the seven Baha’i leaders apparently slated to go on trial today.
In a letter to the Commission, Saberi wrote:
Two “prisoners of conscience” I came to know at Tehran’s Evin Prison are Mahvash Sabet and Fariba Kamalabadi. The women, along with their five male colleagues, are leaders of Iran’s largest religious minority group, the Baha’i community.
Over the years, Iran’s Baha’is have faced discrimination and persecution for their faith, which promotes progressive ideas about gender equality and unity of religion and humanity. They have also been labeled heretics who have turned their backs on Islam. Many followers of the Baha’i faith have been harassed, imprisoned, and some, even executed because of their faith.
. . .
The seven Baha’is, along with at least 20 other Baha’is imprisoned across Iran, are not threats to Iran’s national security but are being held because of their beliefs and peaceful activities on behalf of the Baha’i community. They have been willing to cooperate with Iran’s Shiite Islamic regime, but they refuse to surrender to pressure to abandon their beliefs, knowing that the decisions they make could have far-reaching implications for the estimated 350,000 Baha’is and other religious minorities in Iran.
You can read the full text of Saberi’s letter, along with other materials regarding the case at the Commission’s website.
- Roxana Saberi and USCIRF Call for Release of Iranian Baha’is
(U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom)