Human Rights Without Frontiers covers the release lasts month of Baha’i leader Mahvash Sabet from prison in Iran, where she served 10 years behind bars because of her faith. She is the first of seven imprisoned Baha’i leaders to be released.
Ms. Sabet was one of seven innocent men and women rounded up and thrown into Iran’s infamous Evin Prison. After more than a year of illegal detention, they were put on trial, accused of espionage, “propaganda against the regime,” and other alleged crimes that, in fact, related solely to their religious beliefs and practice.
The seven Baha’is—whose names are Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Mahvash Sabet, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm—were each convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
In November, that term of imprisonment was reduced to 10 years, due to the very delayed application of a new national penal code adopted in 2013, which essentially states that sentences should be served concurrently instead of consecutively.
Under the terms of the new penal code, the remaining six are also now eligible for conditional release. Indeed, as with their reduction in sentence, this should have happened promptly after passage of the new code. The seven must therefore, as a matter of justice and consistency with Iran’s own national laws, be released immediately.