October 31, 2017
Contact: James Samimi Farr
Phone: (202) 833-8990, Email: USBahaiMedia@usbnc.org
WASHINGTON —On October 31, 2017, Baha’i prisoner of conscience Fariba Kamalabadi was released from Evin prison in Tehran, Iran. Mrs. Kamalabadi was held in prison for nearly a decade.
Mrs. Kamalabadi, 55, is one of seven Baha’i leaders who were arrested in 2008 for tending to the administrative affairs of their community. In September, her colleague and cellmate Mrs. Mahvash Sabet was released from prison, and the releases of the remaining five are expected over the coming year.
Mrs. Kamalabadi and her imprisoned companions have drawn the admiration and attention of Senator John McCain, actor Rainn Wilson, Roxana Saberi, a journalist who was imprisoned with her, and Faezeh Hashemi, daughter of former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsjani. Mrs.Kamalabadi worked as a developmental psychologist before her arrest and imprisonment. She is also married with children.
“Along with the deprivations of imprisonment itself, Mrs. Kamalabadi was also deprived of irreplaceable family moments, including the birth of her first grandchild and the weddings of her daughters,” said Anthony Vance, Director of Public Affairs for the Baha’is of the United States.
“While we are pleased to welcome Mrs. Kamalabadi home,” Mr. Vance continued, “we are also eagerly awaiting the release of her remaining five companions. This is to say nothing of the over 90 other Baha’i prisoners of conscience, and, indeed, the ongoing harassment of the Baha’is in Iran.”
Several Baha’is were arrested in Iran last week at celebrations for the bicentenary of the birth of Baha’u’llah, the founder of their religion.
For more information about religious persecution and the rights of the Baha’is in Iran, please contact the U.S. Baha’i Office of Public Affairs at 202-833-8990, or visit publicaffairs.bahai.us.