July 10, 2009 – New York – AJC urged widespread international condemnation of tomorrow’s show trial of seven members of the Baha’i faith in Iran, who face possible execution on fabricated charges of spying for Israel.
“America’s leaders, and all people of good will, should demand the release of these seven victims of religious persecution,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “Ahmadinejad and Khamenei’s jail cells are overflowing with religious minorities, political dissenters, and prisoners of conscience. Where is the outrage?”
Responding to an appeal from Roxana Saberi, the Iranian-American journalist who was jailed alongside two of the Baha’i until being freed in May, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has demanded the prisoners’ immediate release. Saberi explained that the “international attention” devoted to her case “helped lead to my release,” and urged similar scrutiny of the plight of the Baha’i.
Harris said, “Over the past month, the Iranian regime has revealed its brutal and untrustworthy nature to the world. Desperate attempts to blame everything on Israel won’t hide the fact that Iran has murdered its own citizens in the streets.”
Since the current regime seized power in 1979, Bahai's in Iran have been the target of extreme persecution, including torture and arbitrary imprisonment, because of their faith.
Update, July 13, 2009: The Iranian authorities have said that the trial will be delayed. No date has been set. The seven Baha'i leaders remain in custody.