Freedom for all

Ahmad Batebi (b. 1977) came to international notice through his appearance on the 17 July, 1999, cover of The Economist magazine, holding up a shirt splattered with the blood of a fellow protester. This photo, which has been called “an icon for Iran’s student reform movement”, was taken during the Iranian student protests of July 1999 in Tehran. Following its publication, Batebi was arrested, tried in closed-door proceedings, found guilty of “creating street unrest”, and sentenced to death. After seven years of torture and imprisonment, he managed to escape, and it is believed that he now lives in the United States. Mr. Batebi is not associated with the Bahai community.(1) The following essay was first published on Tuesday, 2 September 2008, in Persian in .

(8) Islam teaches that at the end of time, the Promised Mahdi will appear and will right all wrongs. The Bahais believe that this promise was fulfilled in the Person of Baha’u’llah, the Founder of their religion.

(9) Qaim means the One Who will arise. For the Muslims He represents the Promised One, and for the Shi‘is He also represents the Twelfth Imam, Who went into hiding in 873 AD, and is expected to reappear at the “end of time” to bring justice and equity to the world.

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