Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Iran slaps 20-year jail terms on seven Bahai

Another look at the face of conservative Islam. Iran never ceases to amaze with their fanatical adherence to the pure interpretation of 7th century Islam.  This gives an accurate picture of what Islam portends for the West if the Shia sect of Islam comes to power.

Iran slaps 20-year jail terms on seven Bahai

PARIS — Iran has sentenced seven leading members of its Bahai religious minority to 20-year jail terms, French and US members of the faith told AFP on Monday.

The United States and the European Union had criticised Iran's detention of the Bahai members, and their reported jailing will revive calls for Tehran's Islamic regime to respect religious freedom.

"On Sunday, authorities announced 20-year sentences orally to the defendants' lawyers," said Sophie Menard, spokeswoman for the Bahai community in France, adding that the group was awaiting confirmation of the terms.

"The lawyers have begun proceedings to seek an appeal, which ought to allow them access to the written judgements," she explained.

Iran arrested seven Bahai leaders in May 2008 and this year put them on trial on charges ranging from spying for foreigners, spreading corruption on Earth, undermining Islam and of cooperating with Israel.

All those accused denied the charges.

"If this news proves to be accurate, it represents a deeply shocking outcome to the case of these innocent and harmless people," declared Bani Dugal, who represents the Bahai faith in contacts with the United Nations, in a statement.

The statement identified the detainees as two women, Fariba Kamalabadi and Mahvash Sabet, and five men: Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli and Vahid Tizfahm.

They "were all members of a national-level group that helped see to the minimum needs of Iran's 300,000-strong Bahai community, the country's largest non-Muslim religious minority," the statement said.