The Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA) and Fararu.com, a Farsi-language news site, reported about the first hearing in the trial of the seven Baha’i leaders. The first hearing of the trial, which violates the basic principles of a legal due process, was held in the 28th branch of the revolutionary court today.

For the first time, the allegations against the seven were revealed, and they are: espionage, initiation and expansion of illegal organizations, collecting and transmitting classified information to foreigners in the aim of disrupting national security, holding illegal meetings to plot the actions against the security of the state and spreading corruption on earth. These activities were coordinated with the “usurper regime that is occupying al-Qods” (Israel) and guided by the leadership of the Baha’is, the Universal House of Justice, which is located in Israel. The charges of spreading corruption on earth (Mofsed fel-Arz) carries the death penalty.

In a clear indication that this is not a fair trial, but a show trial intended to intimidate and scapegoat the Baha’i community, no observers were allowed to enter the court, but film crews for the regime were able to enter the court. In addition, the lawyers for the defense were barely allowed to enter the court, after having little to no access to their clients since their arrest in May and March of 2008.

Diane Ala’i, the representative of the Baha’i International Community to the UN stated that “In any event, all of these accounts point to a trial that is highly irregular, very similar to the show trials that have been held in Iran in recent months.”

The seven are a members of the “Friends in Iran” (Yaran Iran), the unofficial leadership group of the Baha’is in Iran. They are Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Naeimi, Mr. Saeid Rezaie, Mrs. Mahvash Sabet, Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Mr. Vahid Tizfahm. All official Baha’i governing bodies were disbanded in Iran in 1983. The indictment against the seven stated again that all Baha’i activities are illegal and prohibited in Iran.