The top seven leaders of the Iranian Baha’i community are now reported to have been sentenced to 20 years in prison. They were arrested in May 2008 and held without charge for 18 months before being charged with such crimes as “propaganda against the state” and “spreading corruption on earth.” Their trial began in January 2010 and concluded in June with this harsh sentence. The proceedings are widely believed to have been unfair and the defence team is preparing to appeal the sentence.

In the context of a potential genocide, this may be a move to neutralize the Baha’i leadership and render the community even more vulnerable. For more information on this development, see the links below:

Human Rights Watch – Iran: Free Baha’i Leaders

Baha’i World News Service – Report says Iran’s Baha’i leaders “sentenced”

Huffington Post – Baha’i Leaders Sentenced to 20 Years in Iran

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