The Board of Deputies president, Henry Grunwald QC, has written to Foreign Secretary David Miliband with a renewed call to the government to support the persecuted Bahá’i community in Iran.
The Board made representations to the government last May when six community leaders were arrested and detained. The group, including a seventh leader already in custody, has now been charged with various crimes including “insulting religious sanctity”, “undermining the Islamic Republic of Iran” and even “espionage for Israel”.
Mr Grunwald said: “These are clearly spurious charges and it is believed that this step may herald a major crackdown on the Bahá’is’ Iranian national leadership.”
The Bahá’i faith, which has been banned in Iran, has around 300,000 followers, and hundreds have been arrested and executed since the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979.