There is a piece in the New Statesman from yesterday that is well worth a look. It opens:
Earlier this week, US-Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi was freed from prison in Iran after having her sentence for “spying” reduced. The charge, which she strongly denied, sparked international attention and calls for her release, which has now been widely welcomed.
But Ms Saberi leaves behind her many other inmates in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison whose “crimes” against the Iranian state are also open to question.
Thursday (14 May) marks the first anniversary of the arrest and detention of seven prominent members of the Baha’i faith, Iran’s largest non-Muslim religious minority.
The five men and two women made up an informal national committee, serving the needs of the country’s 300,000 strong Baha’i community in the absence of formal Baha’i institutions, which are outlawed. Their committee – which had operated with the full knowledge of the authorities – along with all local ad hoc Baha’i administrations – was disbanded in March this year in a gesture of good will from the peaceful and law-abiding Baha’is to their government.
In the one year since their incarceration, the seven detainees have faced no charges nor have they been allowed access to their legal counsel, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr Shirin Ebadi. They have faced spurious accusations of “espionage for Israel”, and “insulting religious sanctities”.
[For the full story follow the link. There is also an update on Baha'i Explorer. A complete overview can be found at the Human Rights link and an excellent piece on the overall context by Bernd Kaussler at Open Democracy.]