Baha’i Case Hits Home for Chapel Hill Family

January 12, 2010

Author: Erin Wiltgen

Source: The Herald-Sun’i+case+hits+home+for+Chapel+Hill+family%20&id=5524106

In a living nightmare, Azadeh and Mark Perry apprehensively await the coming trial of seven Baha’i leaders in Iran today.

But for the Chapel Hill couple, the potential closure of an almost two-year conflict holds personal meaning beyond the mere issue of human rights: Saied Rezaie, one of the seven arrested, is Azadeh Perry’s brother-in-law.

Arrested in the spring of 2008 and held in Evin prison in Tehran, Iran, the two women and five men face allegedly false charges of spying for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and spreading propaganda against Islam — all crimes punishable by death. The trial date today marks the third in a long line of court dates set for July, August and October 2009, each delayed or canceled at the last minute.

“They’ve just been in that prison for 20 months,” Azadeh Perry said. “For the last couple of days, I’ve just been sick to my stomach. I’m so worried about this trial.”