Monday, May 10, 2010

On a Special Remembrance This Friday To Remember the Baha'is of Iran: Saying prayers, taking action

Friday marks the second anniversary of the group's imprisonment, and details continue to emerge about the severe conditions under which they are being held. It is known, for example, that the two women and five men are confined to two cells which are so small that they restrict adequate movement or rest.

"They have neither beds nor bedding," said Ms. Dugal.

The place has a rancid smell, and they are permitted to have fresh air for only two hours each week. They have a light that if turned off during the day makes it impossible for them to see anything.

"Contact with their loved ones is restricted to one 10-minute telephone call a week, or visits which are mostly conducted through a glass barrier," Ms. Dugal said.

"Such inhumane conditions show no regard for the principles outlined in international agreements for the treatment of prisoners, which provide that no one may be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment," she said.

"The prisoners' own requests for modest improvements to their conditions remain unaddressed, and as a consequence their health is suffering.

"These people are innocent, and there is no reason they should be made to suffer like this," she said.

According to the journalist Roxana Saberi – who shared a cell for three weeks with two of the Baha'i prisoners – the women are confined in a small space. "They roll up a blanket to use as a pillow," she said. "The floor is cement and covered with only a thin, brown carpet, and prisoners often get backaches and bruises from sleeping on it. ... When I was with them, we were allowed into a walled-in cement yard four days a week for 20 to 30 minutes."

International action

The Universal House of Justice – the head of the Baha'i Faith – has called for the worldwide Baha'i community to host special prayer meetings across the globe this Friday, to remember the Baha'is of Iran and all their compatriots who are similarly subject to oppression.

Each of us is invited to take action. -gw

Take Action!
We invite you to commemorate this anniversary by taking the following action before May 14th, 2010 to highlight the cases of these 7 Baha’i citizens. Because these 7 members of the Baha’i community have spent the last two years sleeping on concrete floors in small, confine spaces, we invite you to demonstrate your solidarity with and support for these prisoners by doing the following:

1. In any space, mark off, cut out, or draw a box the size of an Evin prison cell: 2×3 meters to represent the space of the two women or 3×4 meters to represent the spaced shared by the five men. (For those of you with yardsticks, this translates to 6.5 x 9.8 feet for the women’s cells and 9.8 x 13 feet for the men’s.)

2. Easy ways of making these cells include marking off areas with yarn or rope in grass, cutting out or using butcher paper of the above sizes, or even using chalk to sketch the cells on the ground.

3. Just as these seven Baha’i prisoners have done for the past two years, share the “cells” with other people, two people per small box and five for the larger.

4. Pre-print one of the suggested posters to include in the project, either by incorporating it into the cell or by having a participant hold it while standing in the “cell.”

5. Take pictures or shoot video of the cells being shared and send it to us at no later than May 14, 2010. Pictures and video will be compiled into slide-shows and other dynamic media that can easily go viral, forwarded to both those in Iran and across the world, in a collective effort to bring the international community’s attention to the ongoing arbitrary imprisonment that these 7 Baha’i citizens have endured.

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

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