Families fear for Bahais jailed in Iran

Prison conditions are worsening for seven leaders of Iran's Bahai community who are staying in cramped cells with poor sanitation alongside common criminals, US-based relatives said Wednesday.

Iran drew international condemnation in 2008 for arresting leaders of the Bahai faith, which has no clergy. The religion was founded in Iran in 19th century and is anathema to the nation's Islamic clerical regime.

Relatives said the seven Bahai were each given 20 years in prison and that the sentences were later lowered to 10 years, although the reduction was made known verbally and not through any official statement.

Iraj Kamalabadi, whose sister Fariba Kamalabadi is among the seven, said the Bahai leaders were transferred last year to Gohardasht prison where violent criminals stay in lice-infested cells next to overflowing sewers.

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