Sen's daily

May 5, 2013

`Adnan Rahmat-Penah’s trial again a farce

Azadi Qalam, May 2

After several false starts on April 16 and 17 (reported earlier), the trial of `Adnan Rahmat-Penah ( عدنان رحمت‌پناه ), a Bahai from Shiraz, was rescheduled for April 29. When he arrived at the court, Judge Sadati postponed the trial for four hours. At 1 p.m. the judge entered the court, just as the call to prayer sounded, so he left again to attend attend the prayers. After the prayers, the judge told Mr. Rahmat-Penah’s lawyer that there was not sufficient time to deal with the case that day, so the trial would be delayed until the following day. It was notable that, when Mr. Rahmat-Penah and a political prisoner entered the courtroom, the judge — who was under the impression that they were Christian converts — began to insult them. Mr. Rahmat-Penah’s lawyer pointed out that the charges against them were quite different.

On April 30 Mr. Rahmat-Penah appeared in court at 11:30. The judge insulted his religious beliefs, directly and indirectly, and said he was “unclean,” according to the Quran, and told his lawyer that one should not shake hands with them. The lawyer responded that Bahais are human too, and added, “To me, humanity is important.” The judge replied, “Although this matter has been mentioned, we will judge everyone equally.” However the judge continued with his insults, directed not only at the defendant but at all the Bahais, saying, “You Bahais are all animals, only Muslims have the correct beliefs, and then only the twelver Shiahs.” After two hours, the judge finally turned to the case, and finding that Mr. Rahmat-Penah was one of 15 people arrested two years previously, whose cases were being handled by another judge, in courtroom 3, he sent the case there. That trail is not scheduled until late July. Mr. Rahmat-Penah and his family are left in suspense again.

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