Today is the 6th anniversary of the imprisonment of 7 Baha’i community coordinators. Mahvash Sabet, Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm have all served 6 full years of a 20 year prison sentence. This is the longest sentence currently being served by any of the almost 900 prisoners of conscience in jail in Iran.
All over the world, Baha’i communities are running campaigns calling for the Baha’i 7 – and all other prisoners of conscience in Iran – to be released. The Irish Baha’i community has received wholehearted support for this campaign from parliamentarians, NGOs and others in Ireland – especially for the #freethebahai7 Twitter campaign run today to mark the anniversary of the arrest of the Baha’i 7.
In exciting news, over the past several weeks the support for the Bahá’í community within Iran has reached unprecedented levels. This support, which has been growing steadily for many years, has now culminated in a number of prominent non-Bahá’ís within Iran speaking out in defence of the Bahá’í community.
These courageous women and men are speaking out at not inconsiderable risk to themselves and this is deeply appreciated and warmly acknowledged by the Bahá’ís. This photograph of a number of well-known figures and human rights activists was taken at a gathering in Iran where, it is understood, they had come together to observe the 6th anniversary of the incarceration of the Yárán. The photograph was circulated on Facebook by Voice of America’s Ofogh program and is now being shared widely on the internet. Below it is a promotional photograph for Mr. Maziar Bahari’s newly-released film, “To Light a Candle,” about the persecution of the Bahá’ís in Iran and which features prominently the situation of the Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education.
Among those who appear in the photograph are Ayatollah Masoumi-Tehrani, Muhammad Maleki (who was the first head of Tehran University following the Islamic Revolution), Muhammad Nourizad. Nasrin Sotoudeh, Reza Khandan, Jila Bani Yaghoub, Nargess Mohammadi, and Isa Saharkhiz.