Members of the Huntsville Baha’i community and Baha’is across the Tennessee Valley have joined the Baha’i International Community in a campaign to mark the seventh anniversary of the wrongful arrest and imprisonment of the seven former Baha’i leaders in Iran.
The campaign theme “Seven Days in Remembrance of Seven Years for the Seven Baha’i Leaders” brings a focus to the arrest and jailing of seven Baha’i leaders (pictured here in 2007): Mahvash Sabet, Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm.
“What the events of the past year have demonstrated ever more clearly to the people of Iran and others from around the world who promote peace and concord is the stark contrast between the peaceful intentions and selfless service of the Baha’i community and the lamentable and inhuman acts of those who, under the influence of ignorant religious prejudice, continue to perpetrate injustices against you,” wrote the Universal House of Justice, the international governing body of the Baha’i Faith.
More background is available at www.bic.org/7Bahais7years
The seven formed the entire membership of the now-disbanded ad hoc group tending to the spiritual and social needs of the Iranian Baha’i community in the absence of formally elected Baha’i leadership, which was banned in 1983.
Ms. Sabet was arrested on 5 March 2008, while the other six were arrested on 14 May 2008. In 2010, the seven were tried and wrongfully convicted on charges of “espionage” and “spreading propaganda against the regime,” among other false accusations. They were sentenced to 20 years in prison, the longest terms of any current prisoners of conscience in Iran.