Dhabihu'llah Mahrami

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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.[1] After 10 years in prison he was found dead in his cell.[2]

Discrimination toward Bahá'ís[edit]

Mr. Mahrami was a former Iranian civil servant who lost his job after the government found that he was a Bahá'í.[3] Adherents of the Bahá'í Faith are persecuted in the Islamic Republic and are denied employment.[4] 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.[5] During the next few months the court met with Mr. Mahrami multiple times and tried to persuade him to renounce his beliefs.[5] Upon his repeated refusal, Mr. Mahrami was charged with apostasy, and on January 2, 1996 was sentenced to death.[5] His properties and assets were also confiscated.[5]

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.[3]

Legal appeals[edit]

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.[5] In March 2000, following an international outcry, Mr. Mahrami's sentence was commuted to life in prison.[1][2] 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.[1][2] After 10 years in prison he was found dead in his cell.[2] The government informed his family that he had died of a heart attack, but Mr. Mahrami was reported to have been in good health shortly before his death.[2]

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.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c d 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. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Amnesty International (2006-01-25). "IRAN: Dhabihullah Mahrami and Musa Talibi - Update". Amnesty International. Retrieved 2006-10-31. 
  3. ^ a b Rivera, Ray (2006-01-30). "Bahais Mourn Iranian Jailed for His Faith". Washington Post. Retrieved 2006-10-31. 
  4. ^ International Federation for Human Rights (2003-08-01). "Discrimination against religious minorities in Iran" (PDF). fdih.org. Retrieved 2006-10-31. 
  5. ^ a b c d e 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. 

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