Iranians to gather at Baha'i Temple in Wilmette

Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center

Conference participants to hold prayer service for Baha'i leaders imprisoned in Iran

Expatriate Iranians will gather this weekend at the Baha'i Temple in Wilmette for a cultural conference and to hold a prayer service for imprisoned leaders of the faith who face the death penalty in Iran.

"It really is a bittersweet occasion," said Glen Fullmer, director of communications for the Baha'i national office in Evanston.

Iranian art, music, poetry, dance and history are the focus of the Persian Culture Conference, which started Thursday and runs through Sunday at the Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center in Schaumburg.

Fullmer said 2,500 expatriate Iranians are taking part in the conference, including Payam Akhavan, a founder of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center and Professor of Law at McGill University in Canada. Akhavan spent 10 years prosecuting war criminals for the United Nations and on Saturday is scheduled to give a lecture on human rights in Iran, Fullmer said.

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