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"Is not the object of every Revelation to effect a transformation in the whole character of mankind, a transformation that shall manifest itself, both outwardly and inwardly, that shall affect both its inner life and external conditions?"

~Bahá'u'lláh

Bahá’í World News Service
The Bahá’í World News Service reports on current Bahá’í activity around the world.

Youth Conferences

Message from The Universal House of Justice, the international governing council of the Baha’i’s,addressed to the 114 Youth Conferences throughout the World, dated 1 July 2013.

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The Baha'i House of Worship of India

The Baha'i House of Worship in New Delhi, which is considered as India’s symbol of communal harmony by the Government of India, was dedicated to the people of India and all humanity in December 1986.

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National News of the Baha'is of India

Iran: Baha'i Persecution

Source: NewsX

On January 24-45, News X of India broadcast an in-depth documentary series on the persecution of Iran’s Baha’i community. The series includes an interview with human rights attorney and Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, who is the lead defender of seven Baha’is currently on trial in Tehran.

 

 

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Date set for seven Baha'i leaders' next court session

21 January 2010

New Delhi – We have learnt through the Baha’i International Community, Geneva, that the lawyers of the seven imprisoned Baha’i leaders were notified by Iranian authorities about the next session of their trial to be held on 7 February.

The seven Baha'is who went on trial were, in front, Behrouz Tavakkoli and Saeid Rezaie, and, standing, Fariba Kamalabadi, Vahid Tizfahm, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, and Mahvash Sabet. They were photographed several months before their arrest in 2008.

 At their first court appearance, held 12 January in Tehran, the charges were read to the seven, who categorically denied the accusations.

"While we know little about what actually took place inside the court, we can now say for certain that these seven innocent Baha'is stood up and firmly rejected all of the charges against them," said Diane Ala'i of the Baha'i International Community.

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World reacts to the trial of the seven Baha'i leaders

13 January 2010

GENEVA — Iran's decision to begin the trial yesterday of seven Baha'i leaders has triggered a strong international reaction, including a call by Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi for their immediate release and ultimate acquittal.

"If justice is to be carried out and an impartial judge should investigate the charges leveled against my clients, no other verdict can be reached save that of acquittal," said Mrs. Ebadi, in comments posted on WashingtonTV, a Web-based news service in the United States.

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First session held in trial of Baha'i leaders in Iran

12 January 2010

GENEVA — The trial of seven imprisoned Baha'i leaders began today in Iran. Initial reports indicate that the trial was marked by numerous violations of legal due process.

After about three hours, the hearing ended. Authorities indicated that today’s proceeding was merely the “first session,” and no date for future sessions was given.

"We understand that no observers were allowed in the court," said Diane Ala'i, the Baha'i International Community's representative to the United Nations in Geneva. "We find this completely outrageous, given that these seven have been held purely because of their religious beliefs, in total contradiction to any human rights standards.

"We understand that even the lawyers had to argue their way inside the court – lawyers who in any case had virtually no access to the accused for nearly two years.

"At the same time, the prisoners' interrogators from the Ministry of Intelligence and a film crew were seen going in, raising questions about the nature of the trial," she said.

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Iran’s Ebadi says seven Baha’is must be acquitted

Washington, 12 January (Washington TV)—In an exclusive telephone interview with WashingtonTV on Tuesday, Shirin Ebadi, one of the lawyers defending the seven detained Baha’i leaders in Iran, whose first trial hearing took place today in Tehran, said that if “justice” were to prevail, the only verdict that could be reached over this case was one of “acquittal”.

“If justice is to be carried out and an impartial judge should investigate the charges leveled against my clients, the only verdict that could be reached is that of acquittal,” said Ebadi, in comments translated from the Persian.

But she went on to express regret about the Judiciary’s behavior. “Unfortunately, for some time now, the Judiciary has distanced itself from justice.”

Ebadi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, also criticized the manner in which today’s hearing, which was the first session of the trial, was staged behind closed doors.

She said: “On the basis of the information given to me by the families of my clients, the first session of the trial began today and out of the four lawyers which the Centre for the Defense of Human Rights [established by Ebadi and other lawyers in Iran and currently closed by the authorities] had assigned to them – myself, Mr [Abdolfattah] Soltani, Mr [Hadi] Esma’ilzadeh and Ms [Mahnaz]Parakand – [the latter two], Mr Esma’ilzadeh and Ms Parakand took part in the hearing, but in spite of our request, it was announced that the hearing would be held behind closed doors and they even made the relatives leave the room.”

Ebadi explained that her clients have been convicted of “spying for America and Israel, acting against national security and [engaging in] propaganda against the [Islamic Republic’s] system”, adding: “I read the dossier and fortunately or unfortunately, found in it no cause or evidence to sustain the criminal charges upheld by the prosecutor.”

The Baha’i International Community has categorically denied the accusations and said that today’s trial in Tehran was marked by “numerous violations” of legal due process.

The defendants, Mr Behrouz Tavakkoli, Mr Saeed Rezai’i, Mrs Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr Vahid Tizfahm, Mr Jamaloddin Khanjani and Mr Afif Na’imi, were arrested in their homes in Tehran on 14 May 2008 and Mrs Mahvash Sabet was arrested on 5 March 2008 in northeastern city of Mashhad.

On the question of the postponement of the trial of the detainees, Ebadi said: “This case was set up wrongly from the start, that is, my clients should have been released immediately. This delay which has lasted up to now contravenes the laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Asked about the reasons behind increasing pressure brought to bear in recent months against the Baha’is, including scurrilous accusations against them made by hard-line Iranian media, Ebadi linked these to the protests across Iran following the disputed presidential election.

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