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.