From Religious Intelligence:

The Anglican Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham has raised the plight of seven leaders of the Baha’i community imprisoned and threatened with execution in Iran.

The British Foreign Office minister Lord Malloch-Brown described the situation as “an extraordinary attack on freedom of religion” in Iran.

Bishop George Cassidy asked at question time in the House of Lords: “What action are the Government taking on the position of the seven leaders of the Baha’i community who have been imprisoned without trial and held in severe conditions and who are now threatened with execution for no other crime than their religious beliefs?”

Lord Malloch-Brown said the seven people had remained in detention without charge since their arrest in the first half of last year.

He added: “We received reports in December that the group had been sentenced to death and that executions were imminent, although we have been unable to confirm this and cannot therefore substantiate the reports.

“Since the arrests, we have made several representations to the Iranian authorities calling for the group’s release and will continue to monitor developments closely.”

Very little is known about the situation of the detained Baha’i leaders, one of whom has been arrested since March 2008. While no formal charges have been publicly declared, a security official claimed in August that 7 Israeli spies were arrested.