ABN NEWS-Mr. Speaker, Saturday, May 14, marks the eighth year of incarceration for the seven
Iranian Bahá’i leaders. Their only crime is their religion and their efforts to serve the spiritual and
social needs of their fellow believers.
The seven Bahá’i leaders were arrested in 2008, held for more than a year, put on trial, and
wrongfully convicted on charges of espionage and “propaganda against the regime”. They were
initially sentenced to 20 years in prison, but in November 2015, that term of imprisonment was
reduced to 10 years due to the delayed application of the new Iranian penal code. The seven are
now eligible for conditional release.
The Bahá’i international community is launching a global campaign calling for their immediate
release. The Bahá’i leaders should never have been arrested in the first place and their
incarceration, based exclusively on their religious beliefs, is unjust, illegal, and immoral.
I call on President Rouhani and the Iranian regime to follow the rules of its own national laws,
respect human rights, exercise clemency, and to immediately release the seven imprisoned Bahá’i
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