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이란에서 박해 받는 ‘바하이’교인들

‘종교의 신성함에 대한 모욕’ 유죄 선고 받으면 사형에 처해질 수도
국제앰네스티는 거짓 혐의를 받아 여론 호도용 재판에까지 서게 된 ‘바하이교(Baha’i)’ 교인 7명의 석방을 이란 정부에 요청한다. 바하이교는 이슬람교 시아파의 평화로운 분파로 알려져 있다.

이란 정부 측은 지난 12월 말 아슈라(Ashoura) 기념일에 불안감을 조성한 책임을 바하이교 측에 뒤집어씌웠다. 적어도 13명의 교인들이 이날 시위 이후 테헤란 자택에서 체포됐다.

바하이교 커뮤니티에서는 이 같은 관련성을 전면 부인하고 있다. 이들은 체포된 가옥에서 화기(火器)가 발견됐다는 이란 당국의 주장을 반박하고 있지만, 이들이‘이스라엘 첩보원 활동’,‘종교의 신성함에 대한 모욕’,‘체제에 대한 모함’등의 죄목으로 유죄 선고를 받게 된다면 사형에 처해질 수도 있는 상황이다.

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Iran religious minority members facing ‘show trial’

Amnesty International has urged the Iranian authorities to release seven members of the Baha’i religious minority who appear to be facing a “show trial” in Tehran on a collection of spurious charges.

The five men and two women, who were arrested almost two years ago, could face the death penalty if they are convicted of crimes including “espionage for Israel”, “insulting religious sanctities” and “propaganda against the system”.

“The seven are prisoners of conscience, held solely on account of their beliefs or peaceful activities on behalf of the persecuted Baha’i community, and must be immediately and unconditionally set free,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

The trial of the seven Baha’is has been postponed three times since they were arrested between March and May 2008 – but finally began in closed session in a Revolutionary Court on Tuesday.

Lawyers for the seven – who have rarely been able to visit their clients – were initially denied access to the court room, but managed to persuade court officials to allow them to enter.

The Iranian authorities have blamed the Baha’is, among other groups, for orchestrating much of the unrest that took place on the Ashoura religious holiday in December. At least 13 Baha’is have been arrested from their homes in Tehran since the demonstrations.

The Baha’i community denies any such involvement and have refuted the authorities’ claims that firearms were found in the houses of those arrested.

“The authorities are seeking to make the Baha’i minority scapegoats for the recent unrest, when there is no evidence that they were involved,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui. “The authorities should allow peaceful demonstrations of those with opposing views, not lock up without good reason those of a different faith to their own.”


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