WASHINGTON: Mahvash Sabet, one of the seven members of the former leadership group of the Baha'is in Iran who were imprisoned due to religious beliefs, has been released after her unjust 10-year prison sentence.
Mrs. Sabet, 64, was the first member of the ad-hoc group - known as "the Yaran" - to be arrested in March 2008. Seven members total were held incommunicado for weeks, and suffered appalling treatment and deprivations.

Twenty months after being imprisoned without charge, their trial began on 12 January 2010 and ended five months later, on 14 June 2010. Following their first trial, their lawyer, Shirin Ebadi, explained that she had read the charges against them and found no proof to sustain their criminal charges.

Their arrest and imprisonment prompted an outcry for their release by the United Nations (UN), governments and media around the world.

Today, the conclusion of the sentence of Mrs. Sabet takes place against the backdrop of increasing religious discrimination against the Baha'is in Iran.

"Although Mrs. Sabet is being freed from prison, she will still not achieve full freedom," said Ms. Dugal. "She will return to a society where Baha'i youth are deprived of access to higher education and public jobs, where attacks on small Baha'i-owned shops are increasing, [and] cemeteries are being desecrated..."

"The worldwide Baha'i community, along with vast numbers of people in Iran and throughout the world, eagerly await the conclusion of the unjust sentence of the six other members of the Yaran," said Bani Dugal, representative of the Baha'i International Community.

(Posted on 26 September 2017, 1695754199 3O239O59O31)