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 learning. 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