Tuesday * October 21st 2014

Jailed Baha’i leaders set to stand trial in Iran on July 11

The trial of seven Iranian Baha’i leaders, arrested in the spring of 2008, is scheduled to be held at Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court on July 11, 2009. American-Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi was recently convicted of espionage in Branch 28 of this Court and sentenced to eight years imprisonment. She was eventually released, but only after an international outcry at the clear politicization of the case and manifestly unjust legal procedures.

News of the July 11 trial date was conveyed only orally to the family members by authorities at Evin prison, where the seven Baha’i leaders are being held. As information conveyed by officials concerning the judicial process has often proved unreliable, it is possible that the Iranian authorities may find some reason to change the trial date.

The seven Baha’i leaders have been held for over a year without formal charges or access to their attorneys. Official Iranian news reports have said the Baha’is will be accused of “espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic Republic.” The charge of “espionage for Israel” is punishable by death.

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