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A Round Table meeting was conducted and hosted by US IOPHR representative Hamid Gharagozloo, and the Iran Working Group at International Religious Freedom today with distinguishing representatives, such as Ms. Shirin Ebadi the renowned political and human rights activists, lawyer, former judge and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Dr. Farhad Sabetan of the Bahai’s International Community, Mr. Mansour Borji of Article 18 on behalf of the Christian Communities in Iran, Dr. Sharon Nazarian of ADL, and Mr. Ebrahim Ahrari on behalf of the Sunni community.

Mr. Gharagozloo started with the primary issues of concern regarding the recent rise in violence and oppression of religious and ethnic groups and prisoners of conscience, and the two new laws introduced by the newly formed parliament Articles 499 and 500 to be added to the Volume 5 of the Islamic Penal Code – which enables the regime to brand any group, entity, or individual as “Sect”, a crime punishable by law which can escalate to include the death penalty.