Thursday, February 26, 2009

Baha'i leaders in Iran

I just read the following letter from the Times Online and am re posting it below. The continuing imprisonment of Baha'is in Iran is hugely worrying and I am very pleased to see such a list of prominent artists raising their voices on the subject.

Sir, We are deeply concerned at the continuing imprisonment for more than eight months of seven leaders of the Baha’i community in Iran. No formal evidence has been brought against them.

They have not been given access to their legal counsel, the Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi. She has had no access to their files and has suffered threats and intimidation since taking on their case.
Spurious charges now look likely to be filed against these Baha’is in the Revolutionary Court. “Espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic republic” are their alleged crimes.

In reality, their only “crime”, which the current regime finds intolerable, is that they hold a religious belief that is different from the majority.

As artists who strive to uplift the human spirit and enrich society through our work, we register our solidarity with all those in Iran who are being persecuted for promoting the best development of society — be it through the arts and media, the promotion of education, social and economic development, or adherence to moral principles.

Further, we join with the governments, human rights organisations and people of goodwill throughout the world who have so far raised their voices calling for a fair trial, if not the complete release of the Baha’i leaders in Iran.

David Baddiel
Bill Bailey
Morwenna Banks
Sanjeev Bhasker
Jo Brand
Russell Brand
Rob Brydon
Jimmy Carr
Jack Dee
Omid Djalili
Sean Lock
Lee Mack
Alexei Sayle
Meera Syal
Mark Thomas

The original article can be found at:

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