Aseer Women and Men of Iran: 3rd Anniversary of Baha'i Leaders Imprisonment


Aseer Women and Men of Iran:  3rd Anniversary of Baha'i Leaders Imprisonment
by bordbar

14 May 2011 will mark the completion of the third year of the imprisonment of the former Yaran, group of seven Baha'i leaders who were responsible for the spiritual welfare of the 300,000 strong Baha'i community of Iran.  According to their lawyer, Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, they are innocent of the charges against them, and have been imprisoned solely because of their religious beliefs. 

The appeal court exonerated the seven Baha'is, Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Mahvash Sabet, Behrouz Tavakkoli and Vahid Tizfahm, from groundless charges of spying, collaborating with the State of Israel and providing classified documents to foreigners.  Their sentences were hence reduced to ten years, but the initial twenty-year sentence was unjustifiably reinstated by elements dedicated to snuff out any glimmer of justice in a land loved by the worldwide Baha'i community.  

The Baha'i prisoners were moved inside the notorious Gohardasht prison to cells of greater hardship and deprivation, a measure adopted to add to the ordeal of many recently arrested Iranians.

In the entrails of Gohardasht, the seven Baha'is have found themselves in the company of the country's downtrodden; in some cases, addicts and prostitutes who themselves have fallen prey to abuse and neglect. 

In addition to the members of the former Yaran, 65 other Baha’is are currently in prison because of their Baha’i beliefs.  Another 145 are out on bail awaiting trial, and 28 Baha’is have completed their prison sentences with 5 Baha’is beginning periods of government imposed exile.

Mahvash Sabet, who along with Fariba Kamalabadi, is now imprisoned under more draconian circumstances than her first days of imprisonment in Gohardasht, has captured her reflections on her prison mates in verse.  In her poesy, she speaks of feet and veins, lashed and left to bleed; of a neck rescued from hanging and of another bowed under pain; and yet, she epitomizes hope for her land and its peoples in lines where she becomes one with all the aseers, captives, surrounding her:


I sprinkle fragrant rhyme

on stale prison naan...

I dab dazed yellow faces

with a hue 

filled with shimmering light...

I silently sit

as if

on my shoulders 


all the aseer women's 



See // for further information on the ongoing persecution of the members of the Baha'i community of Iran.



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Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere

by otta on

Thank you for reminding us of the sad truth that the 3 year anniversary of the unjust imprisonment of the Yaran is coming up. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those imprisoned in Iran and elsewhere on the basis of their religion/ethnicity/beliefs.  



by DASLOT on

The story certainly sets the tone for those compelling words at the end. The resounding tale of the Yaran will always be a beacon of light in these quarrelous times. May their steadfastness remain eternal that an end to such oppression finally be realized in the world of man.