Nine years ago, seven innocent men and women were rounded up by Iranian authorities and thrown into the infamous Evin prison solely because of their religious beliefs.
The seven were the ad hoc, appointed leaders of the Iranian Baha’i community, which has undergone severe persecution since the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Over the last 38 years, more than 200 Iranian Baha’is have been killed or executed, hundreds have been imprisoned, and tens of thousands have lost jobs or businesses, or have been deprived of higher education.
All seven were extremely active in working for the betterment of their community — not to mention Iranian society as a whole.
They were put on trial on false allegations of espionage, “propaganda against the regime,” and other alleged crimes that, in fact, were related solely to their belief in and practice of the Baha’i Faith.
This year marks the ninth year of their wrongful imprisonment. During these nine years, the seven have endured awful conditions that are common in Iranian prisons. Many have suffered severe health problems. In human terms, they have also missed out on the numerous day-to-day joys — and sorrows — that make life sweet and precious.
That’s why last night, the public was invited to hear the exquisite poetry of Mahvash Sabet, one of the seven Baha’is who remains imprisoned.
Please take a moment to think of how deeply wrongful incarceration cuts into the lives of innocent prisoners everywhere.
The Baha’i community of Whitehorse