Dhabihu'llah Mahrami (1946 – 15 December 2005) (also Zabihullah Mahrami) was an Iranian Bahá'í who was charged with apostasy from Islam and jailed in Iran. After 10 years in prison he was found dead in his cell.
Discrimination toward Bahá'ís
Mr. Mahrami was a former Iranian civil servant who lost his job after the government found that he was a Bahá'í. Adherents of the Bahá'í Faith are persecuted in the Islamic Republic and are denied employment. On August 16, 1995, Mr. Mahrami was called before the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Yazd, and was questioned about his adherence to the Bahá'í Faith. During the next few months the court met with Mr. Mahrami multiple times and tried to persuade him to renounce his beliefs. Upon his repeated refusal, Mr. Mahrami was charged with apostasy, and on January 2, 1996 was sentenced to death. His properties and assets were also confiscated.
Although Mr. Mahrami was a lifelong Bahá'í, the apostasy charge apparently came about because a sympathetic Muslim colleague, in an effort to prevent Mr. Mahrami from losing his job, stated that Mr. Mahrami had converted to Islam.
Mr. Mahrami's lawyer appealed to the Supreme Court of Iran; on January 28, 1997 the Supreme Court of Iran confirmed the death sentence and the news was conveyed orally to his relatives. In March 2000, following an international outcry, Mr. Mahrami's sentence was commuted to life in prison. Since that time until his death, Mr. Mahrami had been in a government prison in Yazd and was forced to perform arduous physical labour and had received death threats. After 10 years in prison he was found dead in his cell. The government informed his family that he had died of a heart attack, but Mr. Mahrami was reported to nave been in good health shortly before his death.
After his death, organizations, including Amnesty International and the United States government, called on Iran to order a thorough investigation into his death and allow freedom of religion for all Iranians.
- U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Information Programs (2006-12-23). "U.S. Condemns Iran's Persecution of Bahai Religious Prisoner". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
- Amnesty International (2006-01-25). "IRAN: Dhabihullah Mahrami and Musa Talibi - Update". Amnesty International. Retrieved 2006-10-31.
- Rivera, Ray (2006-01-30). "Bahais Mourn Iranian Jailed for His Faith". Washington Post. Retrieved 2006-10-31.
- International Federation for Human Rights (2003-08-01). "Discrimination against religious minorities in Iran". fdih.org. Retrieved 2006-10-31.
- Religious Prisoners Congressional Task Force (2004-08-03). "Bahá'í Prisoners in Iran on Death Row for Apostasy". United States House of Representatives. Retrieved 2006-10-31.