Bahais say Iran released two longest-serving prisoners

Posted: Friday, February 27, 2004

WASHINGTON (AP) Iran has released two members of the Bahai faith who spent nearly 15 years in prison due to their beliefs, the U.S. Bahai information office said.

The office said Bihnam Mithaqi and Kayvan Khalajabadi were imprisoned in 1989 solely for associating with Bahai institutions, sentenced to death in 1991 by the Islamic Revolutionary Court but granted reduced sentences in 2001 after judicial review.

The Bahai office said more than 200 Iranian Bahais have been killed, hundreds imprisoned and thousands deprived of jobs or education because of their religion.

Kit Bigelow, external affairs director with U.S. Bahais' National Spiritual Assembly, said ''the overall situation of the Bahais in Iran remains serious.''

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