After ten years of unjust imprisonment for his beliefs, Saeid Rezaie, one of the seven members of the former leadership group of the Baha’is in Iran, has today completed his wrongful sentence.
Mr. Rezaie and six of his colleagues were arrested in 2008 after an early-morning raid on their homes. They were part of the ad hoc group known as “the Yaran” (the Friends) which tended to the basic spiritual and material needs of the Iranian Baha’i community. The group was formed with the knowledge and tacit approval of authorities after formal Baha’i institutions were declared illegal in Iran in the 1980s. Mr. Rezaie is the fourth individual from among the former Yaran to be released.
“Although Mr. Rezaie and three other members of the Yaran have been released, the persecution of the Baha’is in Iran continues unabated,” said Diane Ala’i, Representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations in Geneva. “From prison, Mr. Rezaie will go back to a community that is still under immense pressure from the government and faces discrimination and persecution for no other reason than belief in the Baha’i Faith.”