Thursday, July 23, 1998: The
Bahai Executed in Iran
TORONTO (UPI) - The Bahai community in North America
says Iran has executed a member of the faith in the holy city of Mashad
in eastern Iran.
Ruhollah Rowhani, a 52-year-old medical supplies salesman and father of
four, was reportedly executed Tuesday, 10 months after being arrested and
charged with converting a Muslim woman to the Bahai faith.
The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahais says Rowhani denied the
charges but was kept in solitary confinement in a prison in Mashad, 500
miles (800 km) east of Tehran.
Bahai sources say there is no evidence he was accorded legal process or
access to a lawyer, and was executed without a sentence being announced.
The woman he was accused of converting to the Bahai faith refuted the
accusation, saying she had been raised as a Bahai. She was not arrested.
On Monday officials from the Iranian Intelligence Office informed
Rowhani's family that he was to be executed. The next day the family was
called to pick up the body.
Rope marks on his neck showed he had been hanged.
Iran has said nothing about the execution.
Rowhani became the first Bahai to be executed in Iran since March 1992.
Another 15 Bahais are in Iranian prisons, four of them on death row.
The Bahai community was the largest religious minority in Iran at the
time of the 1979 revolution, with a membership of 300,000.
Since the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini came to power in Iran, after
toppling the Shah, the Bahai faith has not been officially recognized in
the country, and more than 200 Bahais have been executed.
©Copyright 1998, The Arabia.On.Line
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