The Universal House of Justice
To selected National Spiritual Assemblies
The Universal House of Justice has asked us to convey the following disturbing news about the friends in Iran.
Sentences of death have been communicated orally by prison authorities in Mashhad to Messrs. Sirus Zabihi-Moghaddam and Hedayat-Kashefi Najafabadi, two of the three Bahá’ís who were imprisoned and tried along with the recently executed Mr. Ruhollah Rohani, according to reports received at the Bahá’í World Centre. The third Bahá’í, Mr. Ataollah Hamid Nasirizadeh, was condemned to 10 years’ imprisonment and will be transferred to a prison in Kerman.
You may well recall that when a number of governments protested to the Iranian Government regarding the execution on 21 July 1998 of Mr. Rohani, they also appealed for the safety of the other Bahá’í prisoners in Mashhad, and officials of some of these governments were given to understand from statements of Iranian officials that the Iranian authorities would not carry out any further executions.
… In his [Mr. Rohani’s] case there was at first an official denial of his execution, and then, when it was confirmed otherwise and the Iranian Government found itself confronted by worldwide protest, it excused its action by making the spurious accusation that he had acted against the security of the country. The rationale was that the nature of the case made it impossible for details to be revealed. In the current situation, no such chicanery on the part of Iranian authorities should be countenanced. The surreptitious manner in which the sentence of death was conveyed to Messrs. Moghaddam and Najafabadi by word of mouth, without any evident documentation, raises serious questions as to how the authorities intend to deal with international reactions.…