International Artists and Religious Leaders Come Together to Call for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in Iran

October 13, 2009

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ –

    WHO:    Host: Actor and comedian Rainn Wilson (of NBC's The Office)

            Presenters: Actors Eva LaRue (CSI Miami), Anthony Azizi
            (24, Lost)

            Performers: GRAMMY-nominated Jazz vocalist Tierney Sutton,
            Cuban jazz pianist Alfredo Rodriguez, Iranian Armenian
            singer/songwriter Andy Madadian, recording artist Terry Dexter,
            three-time GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY-winning artist/producer KC
            Porter and JB Eckl, Iranian artist AVA, vocalist Andy Vargas
            (of Santana), and singer Kai Kalama (American Idol finalist).

            Speakers: Dr. Dwight Bashir, U.S. Commission on International
            Religious Freedom, Firuz Kazemzadeh, Professor Emeritus Yale
            University, Dr. Reza Aslan, Professor at the University of
            California, Riverside and contributing editor for The
            Daily Beast.

    WHAT:   "Belief Behind Bars" - A Call for Human Rights and Religious
            Freedom in Iran.  An evening of music and awareness of human
            rights and religious freedom featuring guest speakers and an
            array of international musical guests and a coalition of
            religious leaders from Southern California to express strong
            support for 7 Iranian Baha'is imprisoned on trumped-up charges
            for more than a year.  Their upcoming trial is now scheduled to
            take place on October 18th and holds the possibility of a death
            sentence for each of them on charges of spying for the state
            of Israel.  This is a free admission event.

            Seven leaders of the Baha'i Faith in Iran have been imprisoned
            in Iran's notorious Evin prison for over a year without access
            to their attorney, Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi.  Baha'is
            constitute the largest non-Muslim minority in Iran and suffer
            discrimination from the Islamic government.  Baha'is cannot
            hold government jobs or receive government pensions and
            Baha'i young people cannot attend institutions of higher

            The seven Baha'i prisoners are Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr.
            Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Naeimi, Mr. Saeid Rezaie, Mrs.
            Mahvash Sabet, Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Mr. Vahid Tizfahm.
            All but one in the group were arrested on May 14, 2008, at
            their homes in Tehran. Mrs. Sabet was arrested on March 5,
            2008 while in Mashhad.  They constitute a national committee
            of Baha'i leadership in Iran.

            Some 25 years ago members of Iran's national-level Baha'i
            leadership were rounded up in a similar manner and executed by
            the Iranian government.  U.S. Senate Resolution 71 (SR71) is
            currently in committee and "(1) condemns the Government of Iran
            for its state-sponsored persecution of the Baha'i minority in
            Iran and its continued violation of the International Covenants
            on Human Rights; and (2) calls on the Government of Iran to
            immediately release the seven leaders and all other prisoners
            held solely on account of their religion."

    WHERE:  Bovard Auditorium
            University of Southern California
            3551 Trousdale Pkwy
            Los Angeles, CA 90089

    WHEN:   Wednesday, October 14, 2009
            6:30 p.m.                           Media Check-in
            7:30 p.m.                           Presentation and concert

         Please alert us in advance to your likely or probable attendance.

SOURCE Belief Behind Bars

Source: newswire

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