The Human Rights Defense International (HRDI) welcomes the release of Mrs. Mahvash Sabet from prison after completing ten years of unjust imprisonment in Iran. She was arrested in 2008 and spent two and a half years in solitary confinement solely for her religious belief. Mrs. Sabet is one of the seven members of former Baha’i leadership group called Yaran. She was a school teacher and a school principal and worked with National Literacy Campaign. After the Islamic Revolution, like many other Baha’is, she was fired from her job.
HRDI has taken cognizance of the fact that the Baha’is have been systematically persecuted as a matter of government policy since 1979. The Baha’i community in Iran remains deprived of its most basic rights, including the right to exist as a viable community in Iran. The Baha’is face arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment for active involvement in their religious affairs.
The members of HRDI call for the immediate release of remaining six Baha’i leaders and other prisoners of conscience in Iran and urge the Government of Iran to take affirmative steps to assure the Baha’is a life of dignity, peace, security and an end to all acts of persecution against this community and other minorities.