Today, August 11, the Los Angeles Times published on its Mideast blog, “Babylon & Beyond,” an article about the 20-year sentence reportedly imposed on seven Baha’is who have already been imprisoned for more than two years in Tehran.
From the article:
“If this news proves to be accurate, it represents a deeply shocking outcome to the case of these innocent and harmless people,” declared Bani Dugal, who represents the Baha’i faith in contacts with the United Nations, in a statement.
The statement identified the detainees as two women, Fariba Kamalabadi and Mahvash Sabet, and five men: Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli and Vahid Tizfahm.
They “were all members of a national-level group that helped see to the minimum needs of Iran’s 300,000-strong Baha’i community, the country’s largest non-Muslim religious minority,” the statement said.
The sentencing has been met with an outcry from world leaders and human rights advocacy groups. The president of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, called the sentences “a shocking signal and an immense disappointment.” Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the International Federation for Human Rights and the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran have all released statements condemning the sentencing.