NEW YORK — A global campaign to call attention to the long and unjust imprisonment of seven Iranian Baha’i leaders spawned a worldwide outcry this month on the seventh anniversary of their arrest.
From simple village assembly halls to government chambers, individuals and groups raised their voices to denounce the unjust incarceration of the seven, along with the 110 other Baha’is currently jailed for their religious beliefs and other prisoners of conscience in Iran.
“The degree to which people everywhere understand the magnitude of injustice experienced by Iranian Baha’i citizens as a result of government policy was truly highlighted by this campaign. We can see their support in not only the official statements that the campaign generated, but also the songs, poems, personal stories and other demonstrations of solidarity it produced. The suffering of the Baha’is is mirrored in that of other religious minorities and free-thinkers in Iran. An improvement in conditions for the Baha’i community will signal a greater respect for the human rights of all citizens,” said said Bani Dugal, principal representative of the Baha’i International Community’s United Nations Office, which coordinated the campaign.
The campaign took the theme “Seven Days in Remembrance of Seven Years in Prison for the Seven Baha’i Leaders.”
Each day of the week-long campaign, starting 14 May 2015, was dedicated to one member of the seven: Mahvash Sabet, Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm.
The campaign prompted numerous articles in the news media, statements of support from senior government officials, parliamentarians, and human rights organizations, and hundreds if not thousands of events and observances organized by individuals and groups around the world to honor the seven.
For more on this story, visit the Baha’i World News Service.