ADL Calls On International Community to Demand Release of Baha'i Leaders

New York, NY, August 11, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged the international community to call for the release of seven Baha'i community leaders sentenced to 20 years in prison by an Iranian court. The seven are accused of security violations, espionage and other crimes. Baha'i leaders and human rights activists say the charges are false.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director issued the following statement:

These seven individuals are guilty of nothing more than belonging to the Baha'i faith. The international community must make clear that this sentencing is an act of great injustice and a clear violation of the freedom of religion upheld by civilized nations.

The League previously called on world leaders to insist upon the release of the seven in May 2008.

The Baha'i community is the largest religious minority subject to persecution in Iran. The Iranian regime considers the Baha'i heretics, and since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power, the persecution of this largest non-Muslim religious minority in Iran has intensified, with members of the Baha'i community enduring harassment, cemetery desecration, property confiscation, physical attacks, arrest and imprisonment.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.

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