Local Baha'i Following Iranian Trial

January 20, 2010

Author: Tara Hagan

Source: The Observer


Members of the local Baha'i community are keeping a close eye on a controversial trial underway in Iran.

"We're deeply concerned," said Afsaneh Yazdani, secretary for the Baha'i community in Sarnia, where, members are praying for seven fellow Baha'is currently on trial.

The group -- two women and five men -- have been jailed since spring 2008, and are accused of spying for Israel, spreading propaganda against the Islamic republic and committing religious offenses -- charges that can carry the death penalty. But Baha'is say the group members have been held solely because of their religious beliefs, noting that teachings of the faith -- which recognizes all major world religions and champions the rights of women -- are seen as a threat by fundamentalist Muslim rulers.