Call for action as Iranian Bahá’í leaders enter third year in prison

As seven Baha’i leaders in Iran enter their third year in jail and new details emerge about the harsh conditions of their imprisonment, members of the Bahá’í community of West Berkshire have backed renewed calls for their immediate release.

The prisoners, former members of an informal group known as ‘Friends’, used to attend to the spiritual and social needs of Baha’is of Iran. They have been in Evin prison since their arrests in 2008. Three court appearances so far have taken place this year.

Shawn Khorassani, a West Berkshire based Bahá’í, echoed Bani Dugal (principal representative of the Bahá’í International Community to the United Nations) when he said: “These innocent Bahá’ís have now been locked up for two full years under conditions which clearly violate international standards. The West Berkshire Bahá’ís back the Bahá’í International Community in calling on the Iranian authorities to release them now. The dictates of justice demand no less.

“If their freedom is not immediately granted, at the very least they should be released on bail. Steps should be taken to ensure that their trial is expedited and conducted fairly, in accordance with international standards.”