Bahá'í Library Online
. . . .
.

Search for tag "Human Rights"

from the chronology

date event locations tags see also
1848 19 - 20 Jul The Women's Rights Convention was held in the Wesleyan Chapel at Seneca Falls, NY. The principle organizer was Lucretia Mott, with Elizabeth Cady Stanton as its driving intellect. A significant role was played by an African-American man, an abolitionist and a recently freed slave, Frederick Douglass. The convention adopted a Declaration of Rights and Sentiments that consisted of 11 resolutions including the right for women to vote. The signatories were the 68 women and 32 men in attendance. The right for women to vote became part of the United States Constitution in 1920. [The Calling: Tahirih of Persia and her American Contemporaries p114-160, "Seneca Falls First Woman's Rights Convention of 1848: The Sacred Rites of the Nation" by Bradford W. Miller (Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 8.3, 1998)]
  • This conference has been compared to the Conference of Badasht with respect to the emancipation of women and entrenched prejudices.
Seneca Falls; New York; United States; Badasht; Iran Womens rights; Human rights; African Americans; Women; Gender; Equality; Conference of Badasht; Tahirih
1889. 8 Sep Hájí Muhammad Ridáy-i-Isfahání is martyred in `Ishqábád. [BBRXXIX, 296–7; GPB202]
  • Czar Alexander III sends a military commission from St Petersburg to conduct the trial of those accused of the murder. [AB109; GPB202]
  • Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl serves as chief Bahá'í spokesman at the trial. [AB109]
  • Two are found guilty and sentenced to death, six others are ordered to be transported to Siberia. [AB109; BBR297; GPB203]
  • Bahá'u'lláh attaches importance to the action as being the first time Shí'ís received judicial punishment for an attack on Bahá'ís. [BBRSM91]
  • The Bahá'í community intercedes on behalf of the culprits and has the death sentences commuted to transportation to Siberia. [AB109; BBR297; GPB203]
  • For Western accounts of the episode see BBR296–300.
Ishqabad; Turkmenistan Haji Muhammad Riday-i-Isfahani; Czar Alexander III; Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; Firsts, Other; Persecution, Turkmenistan; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution, Court cases; Court cases; Persecution; Human rights
1901 William Hoar, one of the first Bahá'ís in America, is asked by `Abdu'l-Bahá to meet with the Persian ambassador in Washington to request justice for the Bahá'ís of Iran, thus marking the beginning of the efforts of the American Bahá'í community to alleviate the persecution of their brethren. [BFA2:51] Washington DC; United States; Iran William Hoar; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Ambassadors; Human rights; Firsts, Other
1906 30 Dec The Constitution of Iran is re-established. The Bahá'ís are not included among the recognized religions. [BBR354; B114; CB57; GPB298]
  • For the prophecies of Bahá'u'lláh about the constitution see CBM56–8.
Iran Constitutions; Human rights; Prophecies
1926 For most of the year severe restrictions are placed on the Bahá’ís of Marághih in Ádharbáyján, the governor of the district effectively suspending all constitutional and civil rights of the Bahá’í community. [BBR472; BW18:388]
  • For a list of deprivations see BBR473.
Maraghih; Adharbayjan Persecution, Adharbayjan; Persecution; Human rights
1926 16 Jul The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada makes representations to the Iranian government concerning the martyrdoms in Jahrum and asking the Sháh to intervene on behalf of the oppressed Bahá’ís. [BBR469; BW2:287]
  • For text of the petition see BW2:287–300.
United States; Jahrum; Iran NSA; Petitions; Persecution, Iran; Persecution; Human rights
1928 13 Dec The case arising out of the newspaper persecution of the Bahá’ís of Turkey is brought before a criminal tribunal. [PP316]
  • The Bahá’ís are able to make known the history and tenets of the Faith. [PP316–17; UD78–9]
Turkey Persecution, Turkey; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
1944 8 Aug Three Bahá’ís are murdered in Sháhrúd, Iran, after three weeks of anti-Bahá’í agitation. Many Bahá’í houses are attacked and looted. [BW18:389] Shahrud; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; Court cases
1948 May The Bahá’í International Community takes part in its first United Nations conference, on human rights. [BW11:43] BIC; United Nations; Human rights
1955 Aug Appeals are made by National Spiritual Assemblies around the world through the Bahá’í International Community to the UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld to ask the Iranian government to halt the attacks on the Bahá’ís. [BW13:789–91; BW16:329; MBW88–9; PP304, 311]
  • The intervention of the Secretary-General of the UN, along with the efforts of the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, bring an end to the physical persecution of the Bahá’ís, although their human rights are still denied. [BW13:790; BW16:329]
  • This marks the first time the Faith is able to defend itself with its newly born administrative agencies. An “Aid the Persecuted Fund” was established.
  • Historian Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi noted that the 1955 anti-Bahá'í campaign was both the apogee and the point of separation of the state-clergy co-operation. The Shah succumbing to international pressure to provide human rights, withdrew support. The result was that the period from the late fifties until 1977-1978 was a period of relative safety. [Towards a History of Iran’s Baha’i Community During the Reign of Mohammad Reza Shah, 1941-1979 by Mina Yazdani.]
New York; United States; Iran Bahai International Community; Dag Hammarskjöld; United Nations, Secretary-Generals; United Nations; NSA; Human rights; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1959 10 Apr Representatives of the Bahá’í International Community present to the President of the Human Rights Commission, Ambassador Gunewardene of Ceylon, a statement endorsing the Genocide Convention. [BW13:791–4] New York; United States BIC; Human Rights; United Nations; Genocide; BIC statements
1961 17 Jan Following the arrest of Bahá’ís in Turkey in March 1959 and the subsequent court case, the Turkish court receives the findings of three outstanding religious scholars that the Bahá’í Faith is an independent religion. [MC308]
  • For details of the history of the case see MC306–8..
Turkey Persecution, Turkey; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
1961 15 Jul The Turkish court declares the Bahá’í Faith to be a ‘Tarighat’, a sect forbidden by the law of the land.
  • The Bahá’ís are ‘forgiven’, released and the case against them dropped. [MC308]
  • The National Spiritual Assembly decides to appeal the decision to a higher court and national spiritual assemblies are asked to make representations to the Turkish ambassadors in their respective countries. [MC308]
Turkey Persecution, Turkey; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights; NSA
1962 22 Aug The Custodians ask the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States to make representations to the diplomatic missions of Morocco in Washington and at the United Nations concerning the 14 Bahá’ís imprisoned in Morocco. [MC368–9] United States; Morocco Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; NSA; Custodians
1962 23 Sep The Custodians ask the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States to obtain an interview with the personal representative of the King of Morocco who heads that country’s delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in New York in connection with the Bahá’ís imprisoned in Morocco. [MC373–4] United States; Morocco Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; NSA; United Nations
1962 31 Oct The 14 Bahá’ís imprisoned in Morocco are arraigned before the Regional Court of Nador. [BW13:289; MC18]
  • They are charged with rebellion and disorder, attacks on public security, constituting an association of criminals and attacks on religious faith. [BW13:289; BW14:97; MC18]
Morocco Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
1962 10 Dec The trial of the 14 Bahá’ís imprisoned in Morocco on charges of sedition opens. [BW13:289; BW14:97]
  • The prosecution makes no attempt to prove the charges against the accused. [BW13:289; BW14:97]
Morocco Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
1962 14 Dec The Regional Court of Nador gives its verdict in the case of the 14 Bahá’ís imprisoned in Morocco on charges of sedition: four are acquitted on the grounds that they claim to be Muslims; one is acquitted apparently through family connections; one is released on 15 years’ probation owing to his diabetes; five are committed to life imprisonment; and three are condemned to death. [BBRSM174; MC18–19]
  • The sentences are appealed to the Supreme Court. [BW13:289; BW14:97; MC19]
Morocco Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
1962 17 Dec The Custodians ask the Bahá’í International Community to issue press releases deploring Morocco’s persecution of religious minorities and pointing out its failure to adhere to the UN charter condemning religious intolerance. [MC397] Morocco Custodians; Bahai International Community; Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights
1962 21 Dec Telegrams are sent to 35 United Nations delegations appealing for help under the Genocide Convention for the Bahá’ís sentenced to death and imprisoned for life in Morocco. [BW13:794] Morocco Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; United Nations
1962 23 Dec The Custodians ask national spiritual assemblies to cable Secretary General of the United Nations U Thant requesting his intervention on behalf of the Bahá’ís under sentence of death and imprisoned for life in Morocco. [BW13:794; MC397–8] Morocco Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Custodians; NSA; United Nations
1962 27 Dec The Custodians ask national and local spiritual assemblies to write to the Moroccan ambassador in their respective countries pleading for justice and religious freedom. [MC398–9] Morocco; Worldwide Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Custodians; NSA; LSA
1963 1 Jan The Custodians ask all national and local spiritual assemblies to cable the King of Morocco appealing for justice for the Bahá’ís under sentence of death and imprisoned for life in his country. [BW14:97; MC19] Morocco; Worldwide Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Custodians; NSA; LSA
1963 31 Jan Roger Baldwin, Chairman of the International League for the Rights of Man, appears before the UN sub-commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities and states that, as far they know; the Bahá’í prisoners in Morocco are the only example in recent history where members of a religion have been condemned to death solely for holding and expressing religious views regarded as heretical. [MC415–16] Morocco Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; United Nations
1963 2 Apr King Hassan II of Morocco makes a public statement promising that if the Supreme Court upholds the decision condemning three Bahá’í prisoners to death, he will grant them a royal pardon. [MC416] Morocco King Hassan II; Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
1963 4 Apr The Custodians issue a statement of information to the national spiritual assemblies of the United States and Europe regarding the Bahá’ís imprisoned in Morocco and under threat of death, reminding them that clemency or a pardon are not sufficient, as the condemned Bahá’ís cannot be pardoned for a crime they did not commit. [MC414]
  • For text of statement see MC414–20.
Morocco Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Custodians; NSA
1963 23 Nov At the request of the Universal House of Justice, Bahá’ís around the world pray at the Feast of Qawl for favourable action to be taken in the case of the Bahá’ís under threat of death and imprisoned in Morocco. [BW14:98]
  • Shortly after the Feast the Moroccan Supreme Court heard the appeals, reversed the decision of the trial court and ordered the release of the prisoners. [BW14:98]
Morocco Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights; Custodians; UHJ
1963 13 Dec The Bahá’í prisoners in Morocco are released on order of the Supreme Court. [BW14:98; MC19]
  • For a picture of the release of the Moroccan Bahá’í prisoners see BW14:97.
Morocco Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
1968 9 Oct The widowed mother of seven children is sentenced to six months’ imprisonment in Morocco for refusing to deny her faith. [BW15:172]
  • Despite the efforts of national spiritual assemblies to secure justice for her through their embassies and cables to the King of Morocco, she is made to serve the entire sentence. [BW15:172]
Morocco Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
1968 24 Oct The Moroccan Bahá’í sentenced to three years’ imprisonment in January 1968 appeals and his sentence is extended to four years. [BW15:172]
  • Despite the efforts of national spiritual assemblies to secure justice for him through their embassies and cables to the King of Morocco, he is made to serve the entire sentence. [BW15:172]
Morocco Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
1968 7 Nov Sixteen Persian Bahá’ís in Algeria are expelled from the country and their properties confiscated; native Algerian Bahá’ís are put under restrictions and five are exiled to the Sahara and the eastern mountain regions. [BW15:172]
  • Following appeals, the confiscated properties are returned and the order of banishment for the local believers is gradually relaxed. [BW15:172]
Algeria Persecution, Algeria; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
1975 The Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt decides that the 1960 decree of President Nasser banning all Bahá’í activities is constitutional and the application of the Bahá’ís for annulment of the decree is dismissed. [BW16:137]
  • Though nominally they have been guaranteed equal rights and religious freedoms under the 1971 Constitution, Bahá'ís, in practice, have retained a secondary legal status due to ongoing religious discrimination. Issues pertaining to personal status in Egypt are informed by religious rather than civil law and recognition pertains only to Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Aspects of religious life such as marriage, divorce and family relationships are not recognized by the state.
Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Bans; Persecution; Human rights
1978 Ten Bahá’ís are killed in Iran, seven by mobs. [BW18:291]
  • For the response of Bahá’í institutions to the persecution of the Bahá’ís in Iran see BW18:337.
Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution, Mobs; Persecution; Human rights
1979 Dec The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, from which all civil rights stem and which does not give recognition to the Bahá’í Faith, is adopted by referendum. [BI11] Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Constitutions; Human rights
1980 The persecution of the Bahá’ís of Iran continues throughout the year. [BW18:92]
  • Twenty–four Bahá’ís are executed or otherwise killed. [BW18:229–30]
  • BW18:291–2 shows a slightly different, incorrect list.
  • For pictures of the martyrs see BW18:293–305 and BW19:236–46.
  • For accounts of some of the martyrdoms see BW18:275–81.
  • Twelve Bahá’ís disappear and are presumed dead. [BW19:235]
  • For a list of resolutions adopted by the United Nations, regional bodies, national and provincial governments, and other actions taken, see BW18:92–6.
  • For a list of the actions taken by the Bahá’í International Community, Bahá’í institutions and others see BW18:339–41, 415–17.
Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; United Nations; Bahai International Community; Human rights
1980 Sep The European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the United Nations Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities adopt resolutions on the plight of the Bahá’ís in Iran. [BW19:38] Iran European Union; United Nations; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights
1981 The persecution of the Bahá’ís of Iran continues throughout the year. [BW18:92]
  • Forty–six Bahá’ís are executed and two assassinated. [BW18:292–3; BW19:230–1]
  • For pictures of the martyrs see BW18:295–305 and BW19:236–46.
  • For accounts of some of the martyrdoms see BW18:277–8, 281–4.
  • For excerpts from the wills of some of the martyrs see BW18:284–9.
  • For a list of resolutions adopted by the United Nations, regional bodies, national and provincial governments, and other actions taken, see BW18:92–6 and BW19:44–6.
  • For a list of the actions taken by the Bahá’í International Community, Bahá’í institutions and others see BW18:341–5, 417–20.
Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; United Nations; Bahai International Community; Human rights
1982 The persecution of the Bahá’ís of Iran continues throughout the year. [BW18:92]
  • Thirty–two Bahá’ís are executed or otherwise killed. [BW19:232]
  • BW18:293–4 shows a slightly different, incorrect list.
  • For pictures of the martyrs see BW18:295–305 and BW19:236–46.
  • For a list of resolutions adopted by the United Nations, regional bodies, national and provincial governments, and other actions taken, see BW18:92–6 and BW19:44–6.
  • For a list of the actions taken by the Bahá’í International Community, Bahá’í institutions and others see BW18:345–52, 420–4.
  • See the Message from the Universal House of Justice dated 26 January 1982 for a summation of the steps taken by the coordinated Bahá'í community to expose the crimes of the Iranian regime and to bring pressure to have the persecutions stop.
Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; United Nations; Bahai International Community; Human rights
1982 25 May The Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Organizations of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the United States House of Representatives hears the testimony of six witnesses concerning the persecution of the Bahá’ís in Iran. [BW18:172] Washington; United States; Iran Human Rights; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; United States government
1983 The persecution of the Bahá’ís of Iran continues throughout the year. [BW18:92; BW19:177–226]
  • Twenty–nine Bahá’ís are executed or otherwise killed. [BW19:232–3]
  • For pictures of the martyrs see BW18:295–305 and BW19:236–46.
  • For a list of resolutions adopted by the United Nations, regional bodies, national and provincial governments, and other actions taken, see BW18:92–6 and BW19:44–6.
  • For a list of the actions taken by the Bahá’í International Community, Bahá’í institutions and others see BW18:352–6, 424–5.
Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; United Nations; Bahai International Community; Human rights
1984 The persecution of the Bahá’ís of Iran continues throughout the year. [BW19:177–226]
  • Thirty Bahá’ís are executed or otherwise killed. [BW19:233-4]
  • For pictures of the martyrs see BW18:295–305 and BW19:236–46.
  • For a list of resolutions adopted by the United Nations, regional bodies, national and provincial governments and other actions taken, see BW19:44–6.
Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; United Nations; Human rights
1985 The persecution of the Bahá’ís of Iran continues throughout the year. [BW19:177–226]
  • Seven Bahá’ís are executed or otherwise killed. [BW19:234]
  • For pictures of the martyrs see BW18:295–305 and BW19:236–46.
  • For the actions taken by the Bahá’í International Community see BW19:39.
Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; Bahai International Community; Human rights
1985 Jul Three Bahá’í youths in Mentawai are imprisoned for having married according to Bahá’í law. [BW19:42] Mentawai; Indonesia Persecution, Indonesia; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights
1985 13 Dec For the first time, the United Nations General Assembly adopts a resolution on the human rights situation in Iran which contains specific references to the Bahá’ís. [BW19:38; VV55] Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; United Nations; Human rights
1986 The persecution of the Bahá’ís of Iran continues throughout the year. [BW19:177–226]
  • One Bahá’í, 15-year-old Paymán Subhání, is killed. [BW19:225–6, 234]
  • For his picture see BW19:246.
  • For the actions taken by the Bahá’í international Community see BW19:38.
Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; Bahai International Community; Human rights
1986 13 Mar The United Nations Commission on Human Rights adopts a resolution asking its chairman to appoint a new special representative to report to the General Assembly in November 1986 on the human rights situation in Iran, including the situation of the Bahá’ís. [BINS153:12] Iran United Nations Commission on Human Rights
1987 The establishment of the Bahá'í Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) to meet the educational needs of young people who had been systematically denied access to higher education by the Iranian government. [Closed Doors, Chapter IV] Iran Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE); Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human Rights; Education
1988 8 Dec The plenary session of the General Assembly of the United Nations adopts a resolution concerning human rights in Iran which specifically mentions the suffering of the Bahá’ís. [BINS189:2] Iran United Nations; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights
1988 29 Dec The Universal House of Justice issues a letter to the Bahá’ís in the United States published as Individual Rights and Freedoms in the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh. BWC; United States Universal House of Justice, Letters and messages; Publications; Administration; Administrative Order; Authority; Bahai Faith, Evolutionary nature of; Consultation; Criticism and apologetics; Ethics; Freedom; Freedom of expression; Human rights; Individualism; Liberty; Moderation; Review; Unity; Western culture
1989. 9 Feb The publication of the statement by the Bahá'í International Community, “Right to Development”, to the forty-fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Geneva; Switzerland Human rights; BIC statements; BIC; United Nations
1989 9 Mar The Commission on Human Rights adopts a resolution expressing grave concern at human rights violations in Iran, mentioning the Bahá’ís three times. [BINS195:1] Iran United Nations; Human rights; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1990 For the first time a representative of the United Nations was able to officially meet with a representative of the proscribed Bahá'í community in Irán. The report to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights resulted in a resolution being adapted on Irán in a session held in Geneva. [AWH76] Irán; Geneva United Nations Commission on Human Rights
1991 In Iran, a secret government memorandum (known as the Golpaygani Memorandum) was drawn up by Iran's Supreme Revolutionary Cultural Council and signed by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, which provided a blueprint of the policies and actions to which the Bahá'í community of Iran was to be subjugated. The memorandum demanded a shift in Iran's stance towards Bahá'ís from overt persecution to a more covert policy aimed at depleting the Iranian Bahá'í community's economic and cultural resources. This was a change in the policy for the Islamic regime which had openly persecuted and killed Bahá'ís during its first decade in power and had accused them of being spies for various foreign powers. The document also called for “countering and destroying their [Baha’is’] cultural roots abroad.” [ iranpresswatch.org/post/1407/ ]

The memorandum can be found here and here.
  • This document might have remained secret had it not been divulged to Reynaldo Galindo Pohl, the Salvadoran diplomat who served as the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran between 1986 and 1995. Professor Pohl disclosed the document in 1993 during a session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (now replaced by the Human Rights Council).
Iran; United States Ayatollah Khamenei; Ayatollahs; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; United Nations
1991 25 Feb In Irán, a secret Government memorandum, drawn up by the Supreme Revolutionary Cultural Council which was obtained and made public in 1993 by United Nations' Special Representative Reynaldo Galindo Pohl, who was then charged with investigating the human rights situation in Iran. Signed by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the memorandum established a subtle government policy aimed at essentially grinding the community into nonexistence by
  • forcing Bahá'í children to have a strong Islamic education,
  • pushing Bahá'í adults into the economic periphery and forcing them from all positions of power or influence, and
  • requiring that Bahá'í youth "be expelled from universities, either in the admission process or during the course of their studies, once it becomes known that they are Bahá'ís."
[One Country, Iran Press Watch]
Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Education; Persecution; Hashemi Rafsanjani; Ali Khamenei; Galindo Pohl; Human rights; United Nations; Iran Memorandum
1993 Jan Reynaldo Galindo Pohl, the United Nations' special representative in charge of monitoring the human rights situation in Iran, reveals a secret document written by Iran's Supreme Revolutionary Cultural Council providing evidence that the Iranian Government has formulated a plan to oppress and persecute the Bahá'í community both in Iran and abroad. [BW92–3:139; BW93–4:154] Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Human rights; Persecution; Human rights; United Nations
1993 22 Feb At the 49th session of the UN Commission on Human Rights, the United Nations in Geneva released a report providing evidence that the Iránian Government has established a secret plan approved by Irán's highest ranking officials including both President Hashemi Rafsanjani and Ayatollah Khomeini's successor, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, to oppress and persecute the Bahá'í community both in Irán and abroad. Galindo Pohl, special representative in charge of monitoring the human rights situation in Iran, highlights the contents of the secret document written by Iran's Supreme Revolutionary Cultural Council. [BW92–3:139; BW94–5:134] [from Bahá'í Community of Canada Department of Public Affairs press release dated 25 February, 1993] Iran; Geneva; Switzerland Persecution; Hashemi Rafsanjani; Ali Khamenei; Galindo Pohl; Human rights; United Nations; Iran Memorandum
1993 10 – 25 Jun The Bahá'í International Community and Bahá'ís from 11 countries participate in the United Nations World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna and the parallel meeting for non-governmental organizations. [BINS298:1–2] Vienna; Austria United Nations conferences; Human Rights; Bahai International Community
1997 In the year The Tahirih Justice Center was founded to address the acute need for legal services of immigrant and refugee women who have fled to the U.S. to seek protection from human rights abuses.
  • The Center's founder, Ms. Layli Miller, created the Center after she was besieged by requests for legal assistance following her involvement in a high-profile case that set national precedent and revolutionized asylum law in the United States. The case was that of Fauziya Kassindja, a 17 year-old woman who fled Togo in fear of a forced polygamous marriage and a tribal practice known as female genital mutilation. After arriving in the U.S. and spending more than seventeen months in detention, Ms. Kassindja was granted asylum on June 13th, 1996 by the United States Board of Immigration Appeals in a decision that opened the door to gender-based persecution as a grounds for asylum. [Tahirih Justice Center]
US Tahirih Justice Center; human rights; Layli Miller
1998 29 Sep Starting this date until October 2nd, in Iran, government raids on 500 private homes and the arrest of some 30 faculty members in efforts to close the Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education, a decentralized university that aimed to give Bahá’í students access to the education they have been otherwise denied.
  • The Institute offered Bachelor's degrees in ten subject areas: applied chemistry, biology, dental science, pharmacological science, civil engineering, computer science, psychology, law, literature and accounting. Within these subject areas, which were administered by five "departments," the Institute was able to offer more than 200 distinct courses each term.
  • In the beginning, courses were based on correspondence lessons developed by Indiana University, which was one of the first institutions in the West to recognize the Bahá'í Institute for Higher Education. Later on, course offerings were developed internally.
  • Teaching was done principally via correspondence, or, for specialized scientific and technical courses and in other special cases, in small-group classes that were usually held in private homes. Over time, however, the Institute was able to establish a few laboratories, operated in privately owned commercial buildings in and around Teheran, for computer science, physics, dental science, pharmacology, applied chemistry and language study. The operations of these laboratories were kept prudently quiet, with students cautioned not to come and go in large groups that might give the authorities a reason to object.
  • Among other significant human rights conventions, Iran is a party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 16 December 1966. Parties to this Covenant "recognize the right of everyone to education" and more specifically that "higher education shall be made equally accessible to all, on the basis of capacity, by every appropriate means." [“The New York Times” article dated 29 October, 1998, One Country Oct-Dec 1998 Vol 10 Issue 3]
Iran Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE); Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Education; Persecution; Human Rights; Education
1999 19 Apr The Islamic Revolutionary Court in Isfahan sentenced Sina Hakiman (10 yrs), Farzad Khajeh Sharifabadi (7 yrs), Havivullhh Ferdosian Najafabadi (7 yrs) and Ziaullah Mirzapanah (3yrs) for crimes against national security. All four were among the thirty-six who were arrested in late September and in early October, 1998 in a concerted government crackdown against Bahá’í education in fourteen cities in Iran.
  • It is reported that over 500 homes were raided in an attempt to crack down on the Bahá’í Open University. Files, equipment and other property used by the University were seized. From report by Human Rights Watch Academic Freedom Committee.
Isfahan; Iran Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE); Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Education; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human Rights; Education Find ref
1999 5 May Firuz Kazemzadeh, Secretary for External Affairs for the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States, is appointed by President Clinton as a member of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. White House Press Release United States Firuz Kazemzadeh; NSA; United States government; United States Commissions; Religious freedom; Human rights Find ref
2000 17 Feb Iran’s Supreme Court rejected death sentences imposed upon Sirus Zabihi-Moghadam, Hadayet Kashefi-Majafabadi and Manucher Khulsi.
  • They had been arrested in 1997 in Khorasan province accused of unspecified anti-security acts. (Chapter one, Article 498 of the Islamic Penal Code.)
  • A flood of protest followed from Western leaders. [HRW]
Khurasan; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
2000 22 - 26 May The United Nations Millennium Forum was held at United Nations Headquarters in New York. It attracted 1,350 participants from more than 106 countries and many others participated remotely via Internet. The purpose was to give organizations of civil society an opportunity to formulate views and recommendations on global issues to be taken up at the subsequent Millennium Summit in September to be attended by heads of state and government. Convened by the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Forum's overarching theme - "The United Nations for the 21st Century" - encompassed six main sub-themes in its declaration: 1) Peace, security and disarmament; 2) Eradication of poverty, including debt cancellation and social development; 3) Human rights; 4) Sustainable development and environment; 5) Facing the challenges of globalization: achieving equity, justice and diversity; and, 6) Strengthening and democratizing the United Nations and international organizations. The document was divided into three main areas: recommendations for governmental action; proposals for the United Nations; and actions to be undertaken by civil society itself. The Bahá’í International Community as an NGO representing a cross-section of humankind acted as a unifying agent in major discussions. Our principal representative at the United Nations, Techeste Ahderrom, was appointed to cochair a committee of non-governmental organizations. Lawrence Arturo and Diane 'Alá'í represented the Bahá'í International Community. [BW00-01p87-89, Letter from the Universal House of Justice dated 24 September 2000] New York; United States United Nations Millennium Forum and Summit; United Nations; United Nations Summits; United Nations conferences; Conferences; Millennium; Bahai International Community; Peace; Security; Disarmament; Poverty; Social and economic development; Human rights; Sustainable development; environment; Globalization; Justice; Diversity; Prosperity; Equality; Solidarity; Tolerance; Nature; Cooperation; Interfaith dialogue; Techeste Ahderom; Lawrence Arturo; Diane Alai
2000 6 - 8 Sep The General Assembly Millennium Summit was held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and was attended by leaders of more than 150 nations. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan presented a report entitled, "We The Peoples: The Role of the United Nations in the 21st Century". In which was presented an overview of the challenges facing humankind and suggested practical solutions. Some of the key themes addressed include health, environment, human rights and other social issues, international law, peace and rejuvenating the United Nations. It is striking that called upon by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to address so historic a gathering was Mr. Techeste Ahderom, the principal representative of the Bahá’í International Community to the United Nations, addressed the gathering as the spokesman of civil society. He was accorded this honour because he had presided as cochair at the earlier United Nations Millennium Forum. After all the national leaders had spoken and before the Summit had adopted its declaration on 8 September, Mr. Ahderom made a speech in which he conveyed to that unprecedented assemblage a report of the Forum. The text of his speech is enclosed herewith. On the last day a declaration was unanimously adopted that began by asserting: “We, Heads of State and Government, have gathered at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 6 to 8 September 2000, at the dawn of a new Millennium, to reaffirm our faith in the Organization and its Charter as indispensable foundations of a more peaceful, prosperous and just world.” [BW00-01p91-93, Letter from the Universal House of Justice dated 24 September 2000]
  • The text of Ahderom's speech can be found on the BIC's website and at BW00-01p243-247.
New York; United States United Nations Millennium Forum and Summit; United Nations; United Nations Summits; United Nations conferences; Conferences; Millennium; Bahai International Community; Peace; Security; Disarmament; Poverty; Social and economic development; Human rights; Sustainable development; environment; Globalization; Justice; Diversity; Prosperity; Equality; Solidarity; Tolerance; Nature; Cooperation; Interfaith dialogue; Techeste Ahderom
2003 16 Dec Shirin Ebadi, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the first Muslim woman to win the coveted distinction.
  • For a long time she has fought for the rights of women and children in Iran and it is most fitting that she, a woman lawyer who dared to speak out against the sexist Iranian regime, be praised and recognised by the world.
  • She is an author and also the founder of the Association for Support of Children's Rights in Iran. [Nobel Peace Prize 2003]
  • In 2002 she founded the Defender of Human Rights Center and in 2009 she was forced to flee into exile.
Iran Shirin Ebadi; Nobel Peace Prize; Human rights; Women; Firsts, Other
2004 in the year The 2004 Circular 49/2004 issued by the Ministry of the Interior specifically instructed officials to refrain from providing cards to anyone other than Muslims, Christians and Jews. In particular, it effectively forced practicing Bahá’í into a limbo when registering for personal documents. As Egyptian citizens are required to include their religious affiliation and the Bahá’í faith is not officially recognized, unlike Islam, Christianity and Judaism, practicing Bahá’ís were not able to secure official status. [Minority Right website] Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights
2004 20 Dec United Nations General Assembly has passed a resolution expressing "serious concern" over the human rights situation in Iran, making specific mention of the ongoing persecution of the Baha'i community there.
  • It called on Iran to "eliminate all forms of discrimination based on religious grounds" and took note of the recent upsurge of human rights violations against the Baha'is of Iran.
  • Specifically, the resolution noted the "continuing discrimination against persons belonging to minorities, including Christians, Jews, and Sunnis, and the increased discrimination against the Baha'is, including cases of arbitrary arrest and detention, the denial of free worship or of publicly carrying out communal affairs, the disregard of property rights, the destruction of sites of religious importance, the suspension of social, educational, and community-related activities, and the denial of access to higher education, employment, pensions, and other benefits." [BWNS341]
Iran; New York; United States UN General Assembly; United Nations; Human rights; BWNS
2005 29 Oct Letter from the Iranian military headquarters to various Revolutionary Guard and police forces and security agencies instructing them to identify and monitor Bahá'ís around the country. [BWNS473]
  • A copy of the letter can be obtained from the BIC website.
  • This document was authored by Major General Seyyed Hassan Firuzabadi in his capacity as Chief of the Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Iran. His letter is addressed to a range of military and security agencies, including the Commander of the Revolutionary Guard, the Commander of Basij militia, the Commander of Law Enforcement and the Commander of the Armed Forces inter alia. The letter instructs these agencies to ‘acquire a comprehensive and complete report of all the activities of these sects (including political, economic, social and cultural) for the purpose of identifying all the individuals of these misguided sects. Therefore, we request that you convey to relevant authorities to, in a highly confidential manner, collect any and all information about the above mentioned activities of these individuals and report it to this Headquarters.’ This extended to children and students, and individual children and young people are identified by their religious beliefs and targeted for ideological harassment, exclusion from education, abuse and even physical assault on some occasions. [See: Faith and a Future]
Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Human rights; Persecution, Education; Persecution, Education; Persecution; Human rights; Faith and a Future (CSW)
2005 15 Dec The death of Mr. Dhabihu'llah Mahrami, 59, who had been held in a government prison in Yazd under harsh physical conditions at the time of his death.

First arrested in 1995, Mr. Mahrami served in the civil service but at the time of his arrest was making a living installing venetian blinds, having been summarily fired from his job like thousands of other Baha'is in the years following the 1979 Iranian revolution. Although Iranian officials have asserted that Mr. Mahrami was guilty of spying for Israel, court records clearly indicate that he was tried and sentenced solely on charge of being an "apostate," a crime which is punishable by death under traditional Islamic law. While Mr. Mahrami had been a lifelong Baha'i, the apostasy charge apparently came about because a civil service colleague, in an effort to prevent Mr. Mahrami from losing his job, submitted to a newspaper an article stating that he had converted to Islam. When it later became clear to Iranian authorities that Mr. Mahrami remained a member of the Baha'i community, they arrested him and charged him with apostasy for allegedly converting from Islam to the Baha'i Faith. On 2 January 1996, he was sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Court, a conviction that was later upheld by the Iranian Supreme Court.

The death sentence against Mr. Mahrami stirred an international outcry. The European Parliament, for example, passed a resolution on human rights abuses in Iran, making reference to Mr. Mahrami's case. The governments of Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States also registered objections. [BWNS415]

Yazd; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; Human rights; Court cases; BWNS
2006 4 Apr In late 2004 or early 2005 the government of Egypt introduces a computerized identity card system that locks out all religious classifications except Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Baha'is are unable to get ID cards and other documents essential to day-to-day life. Thus begins an epic struggle for Bahá'í appellants to win the right to have their religious affiliation properly identified on goverment documents.

The issuance of birth certificates is at the heart of the first case, which concerns 14-year-old twins Imad and Nancy Rauf Hindi. Their father, Rauf Hindi, obtained birth certificates that recognized their Baha'i affiliation when they were born but new policies require computer generated certificates and the computer system locks out any religious affiliation but the three officially recognized religions. Without birth certificates, the children are unable to enroll in school in Egypt.

A lower administrative court rules that the couple should be identified as Baha'is on official documents, a decision that, if upheld, will essentially overturn the government's policy of forcing citizen to choose from only the three officially recognized religions -- Islam, Christianity and Judaism -- on state documents. The lower court's ruling provokes an outcry among the fundamentalist elements in Egyptian society, particularly Al Azhar University and the Muslim Brotherhood who object to any kind of recognition of the Baha'i Faith as a religious belief. The case gains international attention in the news media and from human rights groups and sparks a wholesale debate in newspapers and blogs throughout the Arab world over the right to freedom of religion and belief. [BWNS454, Minority Right website]

Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2006 15 May The government appeals the lower court's ruling to the Supreme Administrative Court and the hearing focuses on procedural issues concerning the case. The emotions stirred by the case are evident at the initial hearing. Lawyers and other individuals seated in the courthouse interrupt and heckle defense counsel each time they try to address the court. They yell insults at them, calling them 'infidels' and threatening them with physical violence during the hearing. Because the Court is unable to impose order in the courtroom, the Court briefly adjourns the hearing before resuming the proceedings in camera. When the hearing is adjourned courthouse security officers refuse to protect lawyers who are surrounded by members of the crowd, verbally threatening, pushing, shoving and not allowing them to walk away from the area.

After the government's appeal of the lower court's ruling a court hearing is set for 19 June, however, the Court commissioner's advisory report is not submitted in time for the hearing and the hearing is further postponed until the 16th of September. [BWNS454, BWNS456]

Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2006 16 Sep The Supreme Administrative Court again postpones its hearing on the government appeal of a lower court's ruling upholding the right of a Baha'i couple to have their religion properly identified on government documents. In a brief hearing the Court continues the case until 20 November in order to await the completion of an advisory report from the State Commissioner's Authority on the case. [BWNS480] Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2006 20 Nov Lawyers representing a Baha'i couple seeking to have their religious affiliation properly identified on state documents present arguments at a full hearing before the Supreme Administrative Court. The hearing is short and the court adjourns until 16 December when a judgment in the case is expected. [BWNS492] Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2006 16 Dec Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court rules against the right of Baha'is to be properly identified on government documents. There are now two cases related to this issue; the first involves a lawsuit by the father of twin children, who is seeking to obtain proper birth certificates for them and the second concerns a college student who needs a national identity card to re-enroll in university.

The decision upholds current government policy, a policy which forces the Baha'is either to lie about their religious beliefs or give up their state identification cards. The policy effectively deprives Egyptian Baha'is and others of access to most rights of citizenship, including education, financial services, and even medical care. [BWNS492]

Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2006 21 Dec A message is sent from the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá'ís of Egypt regarding the recent Supreme Administrative Court decision with respect to their right to hold identification cards. [BWNS499]
  • For a the full text of the message from the Universal House of Justice 21DEC2006 in English.
Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2007 12 Nov Human Rights Watch and the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights release a report that states that Egypt should end discriminatory practices that prevent Baha'is and others from listing their true religion on government documents. The 98-page report, titled Prohibited Identities: State Interference with Religious Freedom, focuses on problems that have emerged from Egypt's practice of requiring citizens to state their religious identity on government documents but then restricting the choice to Islam, Christianity, or Judaism. "These policies and practices violate the right of many Egyptians to religious freedom," states the report. [BWNS587]
  • See HRW.org for the full text of the report.
Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2007 25 Dec The two cases, the first by the father of twin children who is seeking to obtain proper birth certificates for them and the second by a college student who needs a national identity card to re-enroll in university, were set for "final judgment" by the Court of Administrative Justice in Cairo but the hearings were unexpectedly postponed until 22 January 2008. The court indicated it is still deliberating on the cases. On 22 January it was announced that the cases had been continued until 29 January. [BWNS597] Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2008 29 Jan In a victory for religious freedom, a lower administrative court ruled in favour of two lawsuits that sought to resolve the government's contradictory policy on religious affiliation and identification papers. The Court of Administrative Justice in Cairo upheld arguments made in two cases concerning Baha'is who have sought to restore their full citizenship rights by asking that they be allowed to leave the religious affiliation field blank on official documents. a lower court again ruled in their favor. Two Muslim lawyers filed an appeal. [BWNS600] Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2008 14 May Iranian Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri issued a fatwa stating that, since (Bahá'ís) were the citizens of Iran, they had the rights of a citizen and to live in the country. Furthermore, they must benefit from the Islamic compassion which is stressed in Quran and by the religious authorities. [The National (UAE)]

Statement: English Translation

Iran Fatwa; Human rights; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri; Ayatollahs
2008 Nov Ameed Saadat sat Iran's 2008 national university entrance examination. He passed was accepted to study hotel management at Goldasht College in Kelardasht, Mazandaran, and began his studies. The college's registration form required students to identify their religion. Ameed, being honest had identified himself as a Bahá'í. The day before his first-term examinations were to begin the college director told Ameed that he was being expelled and would therefore not be allowed to sit the examinations. The following day, 26 students refused to take the end-of-term exam in protest against Ameed's expulsion. [Iran Press Watch] Kelardasht; Mazandaran; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Education; Persecution; Human rights; Higher education
2009 3 Feb The publication of "We are Ashamed," an open letter from a group of academics, writers, artists, journalists and Iranian activists throughout the world to the Bahá'í community. This letter has been signed by a large number of the most prominent Iranian intellectuals. [Iran Press Watch 998, Text of Letter in pdf] Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Open letters; Human rights
2009 16 Mar The Supreme Administrative Court removes any grounds for preventing Baha'is from receiving proper official identity documents by dismissing an appeal by two Muslim lawyers thus clearing the way for an end to years of deprivation for Egyptian Baha'is and opening the door to a new level of respect for religious privacy in Egypt. The appeal sought to prevent the implementation of a lower court ruling last year that said Baha'is can leave blank the religious classification field on official documents, including all-important identity cards and birth certificates. [BWNS703] Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2009 17 Apr With respect to the Supreme Administrative Court decision of 16 March 2009, the decree, dated 19 March, 2009 is signed by General Habib al-Adly, Egypt’s Interior Minister, and published on 14 April in the official gazette. According to the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), which represented Baha’is in many of the recent court cases concerning religious affiliation on government documents, the decree amends the Implementing Statutes of Egypt’s Civil Status Law of 1994. It specifically instructs officials to place a dash (--) before the line reserved for religion in the official documents of citizens who can show that they, or their ancestors, were followers of a religious belief other than the three recognized by the state. [BWNS707] Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2009 11 May After a year in jail without formal charges the Bahá'í leaders face an additional accusation, 'the spreading of corruption on earth,' which goes by the term 'Mofsede fel-Arz' in Persian and carries the threat of death under the penal code of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Prior to this new charge they had been accused of 'espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic Republic.' [BIC Report] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
2009 8 Aug Two young Egyptian Bahá'ís, Imad and Nancy Rauf Hindi, received the new identity cards. They had been at the center of a court case over religious identification on government documents. Their new computerized ID cards show a dash instead of their religion. They are the first such cards to be issued following a ruling by the Egyptian Supreme Administrative Court of 16 March, 2009 that cleared the way for the government to issue documents without reference to religious identity. For nearly five years, since the government began introducing a computerized identity card system that locked out all religious classifications except Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, Bahá'ís have been unable to get ID cards and other documents essential to day-to-day life in Egypt. [BWNS707, BWNS726, BWNS499, BWNS495, BWNS492, BWNS480]

The Bahá’í secured the right to an identification card, however, legislation still refused to recognize the validity of the Bahá’í faith and maintained their secondary status within Egypt. Marriage and Bahá’í personal law were still not acknowledged by the state: married Bahá’í who refused to be issued documentation that lists them incorrectly as ‘single’ still reportedly faced difficulties in setting up a bank account and other basic freedoms. This official ‘invisibility’ had also had a profound impact on their ability to participate in civil and political life. Bahá’ís were also the target of hostility towards the end of Mubarak’s regime and in the wake of his resignation, including the torching of several Bahá’í homes where the perpetrators remain unpunished. {Minority Rights website]

Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2009 17 Aug The trial of seven Baha'i leaders imprisoned in Iran is further postponed until 18 October. [BWNS727] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights; BWNS
2009 18 Oct Attorneys and families of the seven arrive at court in Tehran for the trial to be told that it would not take place. No new date is set. [BIC Report] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
2010 12 Jan – 14 Jun The trial of Iran's seven Bahá'í leaders, Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Mahvash Sabet, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm begins in Tehran. The seven are charged with "espionage", "propaganda activities against the Islamic order", "the establishment of an illegal administration", "cooperation with Israel", "sending secret documents outside the country", "acting against the security of the country", and "corruption on earth". [BWNS748, BWNS778]

  • The profiles of the accused: Profiles.
  • The trial is closed to the public. A film crew and known interrogators are permitted entry. [Video "The Story of the Baha'i Seven" 13 May 2016 BIC]
Tihran; Iran Yaran; Court cases; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2010 7 Feb Seven imprisoned Baha'i leaders appear in court for a second session of their trial. The session is once again closed and family members are not permitted in the courtroom. The hearing lasts just over one hour but does not go beyond procedural issues. No date is given for any future sessions. [BWNS756] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Court cases; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2010 12 Apr The seven imprisoned Iranian Baha'i leaders arrive at the court for their third appearance and their families are not allowed to enter, signalling a closed hearing. Inside the courtroom, however, the prisoners see numerous officials and interrogators from the Ministry of Intelligence – along with a film crew which had already set up its cameras. Concerned over the presence of non-judicial personnel in a supposedly closed hearing, the Baha'is – with the agreement of their attorneys – decline to be party to the proceedings. The judge adjournes the session and did not announce a date for continuing the trial. [BWNS767] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Court cases; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2010 10 May New information is obtained regarding the conditions in which the seven Bahá'í prisoners are being held-two small rancid-smelling cells. They have not been given beds or bedding. There is no natural light in their cells so when the light is turned off during the day they are held in darkness. [Video "The Story of the Baha'i Seven" 13 May 2016 BIC] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights
2010 12 Jun The seven Baha'i leaders imprisoned for more than two years in Iran make their fourth court appearance. [BIC Report] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Court cases; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights
2010 24 Jul The imprisonment of seven Baha'i leaders in Iran has been extended for a further two months after the lawyers made a request for bail. They have now been held for more than two years under a series of successive orders for their 'temporary' detention, which by law, must not exceed two months. The trial of the seven consisted of six brief court appearances and began on 12 January after they had been imprisoned without charge for 20 months. During this period they were allowed barely one hour's access to their legal counsel. The trial concluded on 14 June and no verdict has since been rendered. [BIC Report] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Court cases; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Human rights
2010 8 Aug The sentence of 20 years in prison is announced for members of the "Yaran-i-Iran" or "Friends of Iran" in Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court presided over by Judge Moqayesseh. The charges were several: "espionage", "collaborating with enemy states", "insulting the sacred", "propaganda against the state" and "forming an illegal group". The prominent civil and human right lawyer who defended them was Mr Abdolfattah Soltani. He would later serve a 13-year sentence in the Evin Prison for engaging in his profession. Another member of their legal defense team was the attorney Hadi Esmailzadeh who died in 2016 while serving a 4-year prison term for defending human rights cases. After the sentencing the seven Bahá'í leaders are sent to Gohardasht prison, about 50 kilometers west of Tehran. [BWNS789] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Evin Prison; Gohardasht prison; Abdolfattah Soltani; Hadi Esmailzadeh; Human rights; Prisons; BWNS
2010 7 Dec In an open letter to Ayatollah Mohammad Sadeq Larijani, the Head of the Judiciary, the Bahá'í International Community today contrasted the country's persecution of Bahá'ís with Iran's own call for Muslim minorities to be treated fairly in other countries. [BWNS801] Iran Ayatollah Mohammad Sadeq Larijani; Open letters; Bahai International Community; Persecution, Iran; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
2011 24 Sep The arrest of Abdolfattah Soltani, a senior member of the legal team representing a number of Bahá'ís in Iran await trial for providing higher education to youth barred from university. [BWNS849] Iran Abdolfattah Soltani; Lawyers; Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE); Persecution; Human Rights; Education; BWNS
2011. 21 Oct Launch of Inciting Hatred: Iran's media campaign to demonize Baha'is. The Baha'i International Community prepared and launched a report that documents and analyses more than 400 press and media items over a 16-month period that typify an insidious state-sponsored effort to demonize and vilify Baha'is, using false accusations.
  • The report is available in English and in Persian.
New York; United States Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Bahai International Community
2012 Jun After the January 25th revolution against Mubarak and a period of rule by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the Muslim Brotherhood took power in Egypt through a series of popular elections with Egyptians electing Islamist Mohamed Morsi to the presidency in June 2012.

On 3 July 2013, Morsi was deposed by a coup d'état led by the minister of defense General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. The situation of Egypt’s Bahá’í community remained uncertain. The prescriptions of the 1960 Presidential Decree, despite the revolution, had yet to be annulled. This meant that despite the 2009 lifting of the restrictions on identification documents, the Bahá’í Faith still had not received actual recognition as a religion and Bahá'í were frequently subjected to public vilification. It was a period of extreme unrest. It is estimated that between Sisi's overthrow of Morsi and the 2014 presidential elections, an estimated 20,000 activists and dissidents were arrested by the police under the interim government. El-Sisi went on to become Egypt's president by popular election in 2014.

Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; History (general)
2013 Mar The publication of the report entitled Violence with Impunity: Acts of Aggression Against Iran's Bahá'í Community published by the Bahá'í International Community. The report documents a rising tide of violence directed against the Iranian Bahá'í community - and the degree to which attackers enjoy complete impunity from prosecution or punishment. From 2005 through 2012, for example, there were 52 cases where Bahá'ís have been held in solitary confinement, and another 52 incidents where Bahá'ís have been physically assaulted. Some 49 incidents of arson against Bahá'í homes and shops, more than 30 cases of vandalism, and at least 42 incidents of cemetery desecration were also documented. [BWNS972] Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Justice; Bahai International Community; BWNS
2013 14 May The Bahá'í International Community launches the Five Years Too Many campaign to protest the 20-year prison sentences given to the Bahá'í leaders in Iran, the longest sentence given to prisoners of conscience under the current regime. The harshness of the sentences reflect the Government’s resolve to oppress completely the Iranian Bahá'í community, which faces a systematic, “cradle-to-grave” persecution that is among the most serious examples of state-sponsored religious persecution in the world today. [Five Years Too Many, BWNS954] Tihran; Iran; Worldwide Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Bahai International Community; BWNS
2013 15 Jul Iranian filmmaker and blogger as well as a former Islamist hardliner who has become an outspoken critic of the government, Mohammad Nourizad, kissed the feet of 4 year old Artin whose parents had been arrested for participation in the Bahá'í Institute for Higher Education. [Wikipedia entry; Faith and a Future p38-39]
  • Some years later Mr Nourizad repeated this gesture, kissing the feet of a six year old boy named Bashir whose parents, Azita Rafizadeh and Peyman Kushak Baghi had been sentenced to four year prison terms for teaching at the BIHE.
Iran Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE); Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Education; Persecution; Human Rights; Education; Mohammad Nourizad
2013 20 Sep Deloria Bighorn, chairperson of the National Spiritual Bahá'ís of Canada, presented, on behalf of the Bahá'í Community of Canada, a submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission at the BC National Event held in Vancouver from September 18th to the 21st. The formal presentation followed a panel organized by the Canadian Baha’i Community and Reconciliation Canada. The previous week 250 people listened to Chief Doug White, Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, and Dr. Paulette Regan from the Commission discussing the challenge of reconciliation. [T&R website, CBN 24 September, CBN 9 February, 2018, BWNS1248] Vancouver; Canada Native Americans; Indigenous people; Reconciliation; Cultural diversity; Human rights; Documentaries; BWNS
2013 28 Oct The release of the video Violence with Impunity: Acts of Aggression Against Iran's Bahá'í' Community based on the report of the same name. [BWNS972] Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Justice; Bahai International Community; BWNS
2014. 28 May In the presidential election in Egypt, former Egyptian defence minister Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was elected with 97% of the vote according to government sources. The subsequent 2014 Constitution of the Sisi government, while guaranteeing the ‘inviolable’ right of freedom of religion, extended this only to Islam, Christianity and Judaism – meaning that Bahá’i were still prohibited from many basic freedoms, such as practicing their religious laws and constructing places of worship. Though Bahá’í representatives lobbied during the constitutional drafting processes to expand religious freedoms to their community, this did not occur.

In December 2014, a public workshop was held by the Ministry of Religious Endowments to warn of the dangers of the spread of the Bahá’i faith in Egypt.

Egypt Opposition; Persecution, Egypt; Persecution; Human rights; History (general); Constitutions
2014 Nov Fariba Kamalabadi, after having her fourth request to join her daughter Taraneh for her wedding denied, writes her a letter from Evin Prison. [Iran Press Watch] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Evin Prison; Prisons; Human rights
2015 14 May A global campaign called "Seven Days in Remembrance of Seven Years in Prison for the Seven Baha'i Leaders" to call attention to the long and unjust imprisonment of seven Iranian Baha'i leaders is launched on the seventh anniversary of their arrest. Each day of the week-long campaign, starting 14 May 2015, was dedicated to one member of the seven: Mahvash Sabet, Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm. [7 Days] Tihran; Iran; New York; United States; Worldwide Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Bahai International Community
2016 25 Apr Mr. Hamed Bin Haydara, who has been imprisoned without trial since December 2013, was again brought to court for a hearing but the trial was again postponed, this time to 1 August 2017. Reports indicate that he has been sent to solitary confinement in the National Security Prison on the orders of Mr. Rajeh Zayed, the prosecutor who has caused the delays which have kept him in jail for more than three years and who has been mainly responsible for the arrest and persecution of Baha’is in Yemen. Mr. Rajeh Zayed also recently said he plans to delay Mr. Hamed Bin Haydara’s court hearings and treatment until he “dies in jail.” He is suffering from serious health conditions that require proper medical attention. He stands accused of ‘compromising the independence of the Republic of Yemen’, including spreading the Bahá’í faith in the Republic of Yemen as well as "apostasy" (He has been a Bahá'í from birth.) and “insulting Islam” . [BIC 30 Apr 2017] Yemen Persecution, Yemen; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights
2016 29 Apr In observance of the eighth anniversary of the arrest and incarceration of seven Iranian Baha’i leaders, the Baha’i International Community is launching a global campaign calling for their immediate release. Taking the theme “Enough! Release the Baha’i Seven,” the campaign will emphasize the fact that, under Iran’s own national penal code, the seven are now overdue for conditional release. [Enough!]
  • A special campaign page has been established with information about their current legal situation and other resources. [Enough! Release the Bahá'í Seven].
  • The campaign includes an account on FaceBook.
  • and a Twitter handle. The hashtag for the campaign is: #ReleaseBahai7Now.
Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights
2016 12 May In commemoration of the incarceration of the Yaran in Iran in 2008 the International Bahá'í Community (BIC) releases a video entitled Enough! Release the Baha’i Seven Now. Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Bahai International Community
2016 13 May Fariba Kamalabadi, while on a five-day furlough from Evin Prison, meets with former Tehran MP Faezeh Hashemi. It is the first temporary leave she has been granted during her eight years of imprisonment.

Faezeh Hashemi is the activist daughter of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and she previously shared a prison cell with Kamalabadi in Evin Prison. Hashemi is strongly condemned by politicians and religious leaders. A high-ranking member of the Iranian Judiciary vows that action will be taken against her. Despite the widespread criticism she has received from powerful quarters in Iran, Faezeh Hashemi publicly defends her decision to meet with Kamalabadi. [Iran Press Watch, from NY Times, BWNS1108]

Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Evin prison; BWNS
2016 26 Oct The report from the offices of the Bahá'í International Community entitled The Bahá'í Question Revisited: Persecution and Resilience in Iran was formally released.
  • The full report can be read on-line here.
  • A list of resolutions by the United Nations and United Nations bodies that reference the situation of Baha’is in Iran since 1980 can be found at this location.
  • An annex to The Bahá'í Question Revisited is the report called "Inciting Hatred". It is an analysis of approximately 400 anti-Baha'i articles, broadcasts, and webpages from late December 2009 through May 2011 and can be found here.
  • A list of the 222 Baha’is who have been killed in Iran since 1978 can be read here.
Iran; New York; United States Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; Bahai International Community; Human rights; United Nations
2016 24 Nov From her cell in Evin prison, In a open letter to her six-month old granddaughter, Bajar. Fariba Kamalabadi one of the members of the imprisoned Yaran of Iran, writes about the suffering of the Bahá'í citizens and of her dreams for humanity. [Iran Press Watch 16140] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Evin Prison; Prisons; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights
2017 25 Apr The formation of the human rights organization, "The Yemeni Initiative for Defending Baha’i Rights". [facebook page] Yemen Persecution, Yemen; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights
2017 28 Apr Amnesty International sent a Joint Public Statement to the Huthi-Saleh authorities in Yemen calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Hamid Haydara. The document can be downloaded from the Amnesty International site. Yemen Yemen; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Amnesty International
2017 12 May The Baha'i International Community launches a global campaign calling for the immediate release of the seven Iranian Baha'i leaders, unjustly imprisoned for nine years as of the 14th of May. The theme of the campaign, “Not Another Year,” is intended to raise awareness about the seven women and men unjustly arrested in 2008 and sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment for their religious beliefs. This sentence was reduced to 10 years in 2015 after the overdue application of a new Iranian Penal Code. [BWNS1167]
  • The official video of the Bahá'í International Community to commemorate the 9th anniversary of the arrest and imprisonment of seven Iranian Bahá'í leaders - Not Another Year.
Iran Yaran; Court cases; Human rights; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Other; Persecution; BWNS
2017 15 May Hundreds of Yemenis gathered in front of the Criminal Prosecution building in the capital city of Sanaa. They were denouncing the arrest of Yemeni citizens of the Baha’i faith and calling for their release. The demonstrations were not led by the usual human rights crew but by tribal leaders of some of the most influential tribes in the country, prominently that of the Bani Mattar.

What brought the tribes out was the arrest of Sheikh Walid Saleh Ayyash, who has the distinction of being both a prominent tribal figure and one of the 2,000 or so Yemenis who practice the Baha’i faith. It was Ayyash’s faith that led to his arrest on April 19, as he was driving from the city of Ibb to the port of Hudaydah. Along with another Baha’i who was in the car, Ayyash was arrested by Houthi forces and transferred to the Hudaydah prison. A statement by the tribal leaders calls Ayash “a distinguished personality among the Arab tribes … well-known for his integrity and wisdom, for his love, loyalty and devotion to his country, for his tolerance and respect for the government and the law.” The leaders had previously met with Khalid Al-Mawari, the Houthi government’s Chief of Special Criminal Prosecution. He had promised them that Ayyash would be transferred to Sanaa. When that failed to happen, they organized the demonstration. [TRACKPERSIA 25 Aug 2017]

Yemen Persecution, Yemen; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights
2017 Jul The men who admitted to stabbing and killing Farhang Amiri, a 63-year-old father of four children, in September 2016 in Yazd on the street outside his home in public view were sentenced by a court in Yazd. The two brothers immediately admitted to have been motivated by religious hatred. The older brother was sentenced to just 11 years in prison and two years away from home. The court justified the sentence by stating that according to the Islamic penal code, the accused and the victim are not equal for the general purpose of retributive justice. This astonishing provision clearly and deliberately deprives non-Muslims of the legal right to seek justice on equal-footing with the country's Muslim majority.

The younger man was sentenced to half of his brother’s sentence for aiding in the murder. [BWNS1182]

Yazd; Iran Farhang Amiri; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution, Court cases; Court cases; Human rights; BWNS
2017 19 Sep The release of Mahvash Sabet, one of the seven members of the former leadership group of the Baha'is in Iran known as the Yaran, after 10 years of confinement in Iran's notorious Evin and Raja'i Shahr prisons. She was arrested in March 2008 and is now 64 years old. Mrs. Sabet distinguished herself by the loving care and kindness she extended to her fellow prisoners. As has occurred with prisoners of conscience, writers, thought-leaders, and poets who have been wrongly imprisoned throughout history, the power of Mrs. Sabet's ideas and beliefs was only amplified by her persecution. The plight of its author attracted attention to this deeply moving collection of poetry, inspiring PEN International to feature Mrs. Sabet in a campaign to defend persecuted writers. Her poems also inspired a musical composition by award-winning composer Lasse Thoresen, performed at an international music festival in Oslo earlier this year. [BWNS1198]
  • See Prison Poems.
  • See CNN article Writing to survive: Baha'i woman's poetry was her best friend in Iranian jail.
  • Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights; Evin prison; Rajai Shahr prison; Prisons; Poetry; Music; Lasse Thoresen; BWNS
    2017 Sep Arrests of Baha’is in Yemen has drawn international censure which led to a United Nations resolution, Titled “Human Rights, Technical Assistance and Capacity-building in Yemen”. It was introduced by Egypt on behalf of the Arab Group and supported by the entire UN Human Rights Council—calling for the immediate release of all Baha’i detainees. The Council is the principal human rights body at the UN and is composed of 47 members who are elected by the General Assembly based on equitable geographic distribution.

    At the time of the resolution there were seven Baha’is in prison in Yemen, most of whom are held in undisclosed locations and one of which has been detained for nearly four years due to repeatedly postponed court-hearings. Arrest warrants had been issued for over a dozen others, while a number of families had been forced to leave their homes. Developments in Yemen indicated that the authorities’ prosecution of individuals had broadened in scope to be against the Baha’i community in general and that efforts were being made to turn public opinion against all of the Baha’is under the premise that they are secretly plotting to stir unrest in Yemen.

    The resolution establishes a Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts tasked with monitoring and reporting on the situation on human rights in Yemen. It is also mandated to carry out a comprehensive examination of all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights in the country. [BIC News 3 October 2017, UN Human Rights Council – 36th Session, Agenda Item 10]

    Geneva; Switzerland; Yemen Persecution, Yemen; Persecution, Arrest; Persecution; United Nations; Human Rights
    2017 near the end of Oct Fariba Kamalabadi, a member of the former leadership group of the Baha’is called the "Yaran", concluded her ten-year prison sentence. She was the second individual from among the former Yaran to be released. She, along with five others, were arrested on the 14th of May, 2008. Mrs. Kamalabadi had graduated from high school with honours but was barred from attending university because of her Faith. In her mid-30s, she embarked on an eight-year period of informal study and ultimately received an advanced degree in developmental psychology from the Bahá’í Institute of Higher Education (BIHE), an alternative institution established by the Bahá’í community of Iran to provide higher education for its young people. She worked as a developmental psychologist before her arrest and imprisonment. She is also married with three children. Along with the deprivations of imprisonment itself (she had spent 2 1/2 years of the 10-year sentence in solitary confinement), Mrs. Kamalabadi was also deprived of irreplaceable family moments, including the birth of her first grandchild and the weddings of her daughters. She was 55 years old upon her release. [BWNS1217]
    • See Huffington Post for an article entitled "Iran’s Baha’i Problem" by Payam Akhavan about the visit of Ms. Faezeh Hashemi, the well-known daughter of former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who made a visit to her home while she was on leave from prison.
    • Ms Hashemi, herself a former MP, was heavily criticized after she met with Ms Kamalabadi. See the article in The Guardian for details.
    Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Court cases; BWNS
    2017. 17 Nov A committee of the United Nations General Assembly condemned Iran by a vote of 83 to 30 with 68 abstentions for its continuing violations of human rights, the 30th such resolution since 1985. The Third Committee of the General Assembly approved a five-page resolution expressing concern over illegal practices ranging from torture, poor prison conditions, arbitrary detention, and curbs on freedom of religion or belief to state-endorsed discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities as well as women. The resolution expressed specific concern over Iran’s treatment of members of the Baha’i Faith and highlighted the economic and educational discrimination against them and called on Iran to release the more than 90 Baha’is who were unjustly held in Iranian prisons. The resolution follows a strongly worded document from the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Asma Jahangir. Her 23-page report, released earlier this session, catalogued a broad range of rights violations by Iran. [BWNS1221] New York; United States United Nations; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; BWNS
    2018 2 Jan The Specialized Criminal Court of the Houthi militia in Yemen have sentenced detainee Hammed bin Haidara to death on the backdrop of his Bahá'í beliefs. The judgment issued by the Houthi-controlled Criminal Court in Sana'a also confiscated the funds of Hammed bin Haidara and shut all Bahá'í centres in the country. The persecution of Bahá'ís in the area controlled by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia reflected the pattern of persecution in Iran.
    The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) estimated that the number of Bahá'ís in Yemen was about 2,000 people in several Yemeni provinces. [Al Arabiya English 3 January, 2018, BIC 5 January, 2018, Amnesty International 28 April, 2017, Defending Bahá'í Rights facebook page]
    • "The Yemini Initiative for Defending Bahá'í Rights", a activist group launched in April of 2017, has gained tens of thousands of followers. Prominent media groups in the Arab world have publicized the case. In addition to Mr bin Haidara there were six other Bahá'ís in prison in Sana'a. [BWNS1232]
    Yemen Persecution, Yemen; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Court cases; Human rights; BWNS
    2018 Feb Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), an NGO working to promote the right to freedom of religion or belief of all and raising awareness about the persecution of Christians and other religious groups around the world, published a shocking report that revealed the influence of religious persecution on religious minority children. In its Faith and a Future report, CSW focuses on the situation of religious minority children in educational settings in Burma, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan. The report scrutinizes three common acts of persecution in the educational setting specifically bias, discrimination and abuse. In Iran, bias can be seen across various educational materials in the country. School textbooks are focused on the Shi’a Muslim perspective and are silent on any other religions. This has an adverse effect on religious minorities. Children belonging to the Baha’i religion are denied access to schools and often access to higher education. Baha’i children that are lucky to be enrolled in schools are not free to learn or partake in their religious belief. According to the CSW report, a memorandum from the Iran government stated that Baha’i children ‘should be enrolled in schools which have a strong and imposing religious [Shi’a] ideology.’ The situation for children partaking in higher education is no better. According to Article 3 of the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council’s student qualification regulations (1991), students are to be expelled if they are found to be Baha’i. Only Muslim or students belonging to recognized religions are allowed to take the national enrolment exam. The report further alleges that some Baha’i children have been subjected to physical abuse at schools. [Iran Press Watch 18838] Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Human rights; Persecution, Education; Persecution, Education; Persecution; Human rights; Faith and a Future (CSW)
    2018 18 Feb In an open letter, twenty-five prominent international lawyers and human right activists appealed to Mohammad Javad Larijani, the Secretary-General of the High Council for Human Rights in Iran, to take steps to end the persecution of the Bahá'ís in Iran. In the letter they make reference to the new website, "Archives of the Bahá'í Persecution in Iran", stating that it “vividly demonstrates the depth and breadth of unjust, relentless, and systematic oppression against a religious minority”. [BICNews10Feb2018] Iran; Worldwide Human Rights; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Open letters; Websites; Publications
    2018 2 Feb Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, a former member of the Yaran, was transferred from Evin Prison to a hospital as per directions of the prison doctor after experiencing heart issues. He underwent surgery and, after spending a few days in the ICU, was transferred back to prison. Mr. Khanjani suffers from old age and multiple ailments. He has been in prison since May 18, 2008. Throughout his 10-year term he has not been allowed a single day of leave. Security and Judicial authorities did not even allow him to attend his wife’s funeral. His sentence will be completed on March 22 of this year. [Iran Press Watch 18815] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Court cases
    2018 16 Mar Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, at 85 the oldest member of the Yaran to be imprisoned, was released after serving his 10-year sentence. [BWNS1244] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Court cases; BWNS
    2018 19 Mar The release of Mr. Vahid Tizfahm from the Rajaee Shahr Prison in Karaj after having completed his 10-year sentence. He was the sixth of the seven Bahá'í leaders to be released from prison.
    At this time the 10 year term of the remaining prisoner, Mr Afif Naeimi, had two months yet to serve. Due to a serious illness he was released to the custody of his family while receiving medical treatment under the proviso that he would return to prison when deemed medically fit. [BWNS1245, Iran Press Watch, 29 March, 2018, Iran Press Watch 30 March, 2018]
    • According to BIC, there were 97 Baha'is in prison as of 1 March. [Middle East Eye Tuesday 20 March 2018 12:39 UTC]
    Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution; Human rights; Court cases; BWNS
    2018 22 Mar Sayyid Abdul-Malik Badreddin Al-Houthi, the Secretary-General of Yemen’s Shia political party Ansar Allah, accused Baha’is of seeking to create disunity among Muslims. It was reported that the Houthis have also launched a social media campaign against Baha’is. "The Yemeni Initiative for Defending Baha’i Rights", a human rights organization, said in a Facebook post that Al-Houthi’s incitement coincided with incitements against Ahmadis, Christians, intellectuals, scientists, and activists, as well as “a number of Islamic doctrines.” [Conatus News 28 March, 2018] Yemen Persecution, Yemen; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights
    2018 1 Apr The launch of a fierce campaign of hatred against members of the Bahá'í Faith, as well as other against peaceful religious minorities was proclaimed by Houthi activist Ahmad Ayed Ahmed in a public Tweet. The campaign coincided with the threats made by the leader of Ansaruallah, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, against the Baha’is, Ahmadis, Christians and a number of Islamic sects during his Friday speech on the occasion of Rajab Friday. This marks a clear call for a sectarian war against minorities and specifically the Bahá'í’s and parallels the already ongoing systematic attack against Bahá'ís including arbitrary arrests, persecution, and torture. This marks a new stage in Houthi persecution, until now they had exercised a degree of “political dissimulation” to conceal their direct involvement, however, since al-Houthi’s public speech, Houthis are now openly spearheading as well as escalating the systematic persecution of Baha’is. [Iran Press Watch 1 April, 2018] Yemen Persecution, Yemen; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights

    from the main catalogue

    1. 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, by Bahá'í International Community (2008). Baha'i International Community’s Statement on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights [about]
    2. American Dream, The: Stories from the Heart of Our Nation, by Dan Rather (2001). Commentary on Baha'i persecutions, by a famous TV news anchor. [about]
    3. Amnesty International, by Universal House of Justice (1993). Baha'is may work with but should not hold membership in Amnesty International. [about]
    4. August Forel Defends the Persecuted Persian Bahá'ís: 1925-1927, by John Paul Vader, in Bahá'í World, Vol. 18 (1979-1983) (1986). History of Forel's involvement with the Faith. Includes correspondence from Shoghi Effendi. [about]
    5. Bahá'í Question, The: Cultural Cleansing in Iran, by Bahá'í International Community (2008). [about]
    6. Bahá'í Declaration of Human Obligations and Rights, A, by Bahá’í International Community (1947). [about]
    7. Bahá'í-Inspired Perspectives on Human Rights (2001). Articles by Kiser Barnes, Greg Duly, Cheshmak Farhoumand-Sims, Graham Hassall, Darren Hedley, Nazila Ghanea-Hercock, Chichi Layor, Michael Penn, Martha Schweitz, and Albert Lincoln. [about]
    8. Capital Punishment and Amnesty International. Letter from the House to Amnesty International on the death penalty. [about]
    9. Cold Winter in North Africa, A: The Case of the Bahá'ís in Egypt, by Naseem Kourosh, in International Law News, 41:3 (2012). Contemporary history of the Egyptian government's refusal to issue identification cards to Baha'is. [about]
    10. Continuities and Discontinuities in Islamic Perspectives on Cultural Diversity, by Sulayman S. Nyang (1999). Contains only brief mention of Baha'is, but discusses the Iranian Revolution and related topics. [about]
    11. Declaración bahá'í sobre obligaciones y derechos humanos, 1947, by Bahá'í International Community. Declaración de la Comunidad Internacional Bahá'í ante la Conferencia Internacional de las Naciones Unidas sobre la Relación Entre el Desarme y el Desarrollo, Wilmette, Illinois, Febrero de 1947 [about]
    12. Egypt, Bahá'í Community of, and Religious Identity, by Universal House of Justice (2006). Message to the Bahá'ís of Egypt in the wake of a Supreme Administrative Court decision in Cairo that upheld a discriminatory government policy regarding Bahá'ís and their identification cards. In both English and Arabic. [about]
    13. Examination of the Cultural Relativity of Human Rights, An, by Jonathan Patrick, in Associate, 36 (2001). On the discourse between proponents of the universality of human rights, and those of their cultural and religious relativity. Are human rights inherent in the individual, or imposed by a neo-imperialist West? [about]
    14. Eyes of the Children, The, by Sheila Banani, in dialogue magazine, 1:2 (1986). One poem inspired by female infanticide in China. [about]
    15. Faith Denied, A: The Persecution of the Bahá'ís of Iran, by Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (2006). [about]
    16. Family Law in Iran, by Sen McGlinn (2001). Detailed overview of 20th-century Iranian laws regarding marriage, divorce, marriage rights and duties, dowry, and inheritance. Contains passing mentions of the Baha'i Faith. [about]
    17. Homosexuality and Civil Rights, by Universal House of Justice (2010). Although sexual relations are to be restricted to marriage between a man and woman and Bahá’ís are not to take a position on issues such as civil marriage, Baha'is can defend homosexuals from discrimination. [about]
    18. Homosexuality and Civil Rights, by National Spiritual Assembly (2011). Brief comments on the apparent contradiction between eliminating all prejudice, including against homosexuals, vs. the Baha'i stance on marriage as being only between a man and a woman. [about]
    19. Hora Decisiva para todas las Naciones, by Bahá'í International Community. Declaración de la Comunidad Internacional Bahá'í con motivo del 50 aniversario de Naciones Unidas Octubre 1995 [about]
    20. Human Rights: Reflections from a Bahá'í Viewpoint, by Michael Curtotti, in Human Rights, Faith, and Culture (2001). [about]
    21. Human Rights and Religious Faith, by Amnesty International, in dialogue magazine, 1:1 (1986). A statement from Amnesty International/USA, published by request. [about]
    22. Human Rights in the Bahá'í Writings (2001). Brief compilation on human rights from the writings of Baha'u'llah, Abdu'l-Baha, and Shoghi Effendi. [about]
    23. Human Rights Watch on Persecution of Baha'is in Iran, by Reuters (1997). Two articles covering a report by Human Rights Watch on the treatment of the Baha'is and other minorities in Iran. [about]
    24. Indigenous rights and women's rights in the Samoan Bahá'í community, by Maureen Sier, in Bahá'í Studies Review, 9 (1999). [about]
    25. Individual Rights and Freedoms, by Universal House of Justice (1988). An important and often-quoted letter about rights and freedom of expression in the Bahá'í community, as contrasted with those in American civil society. [about]
    26. International Criminal Court: A Bahá'í Perspective, by Dan Wheatley, in Associate, 33-34 (2001). Brief history of the ICC, and Baha'i support of it. [about]
    27. Interreligious and Intercultural Cooperation, by Bahá'í International Community (2007). Statement to the United Nations on best practices and strategies for interreligious and intercultural cooperation. [about]
    28. Iran: Suppression of religious freedom and persecution of religious minorities: case studies, by Thomas Schirrmacher, in International Journal of Religious Freedom, 2:1 (2009). The legal status of non-Shiite Muslims, Bahá'ís, and various Christian confessions in Iran. [about]
    29. Iran since the Revolution, by Sepehr Zabih (1982). Discussion of the Iranian constitution, with one passing mention of Baha'is not being recognized. [about]
    30. Islam and Minorities: The Case of the Baha'is, by Christopher Buck, in Studies in Contemporary Islam, 5.1–2 (2003). Includes a Persian translation of the original article. [about]
    31. La Libertad de Expresión, by Universal House of Justice (1988). Spanish translation of "Individual Rights and Freedoms" by the Casa Universal de Justicia. [about]
    32. Language and Universalization: A 'Linguistic Ecology' Reading of Bahá'í Writings, by Gregory Paul P. Meyjes, in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 9:1 (1994). How the promotion of linguistic minority rights may coincide with promotion of an International Auxiliary Language, opposing trends toward increased globalization and growing nationalism, and the unregulated global spread of English. [about]
    33. Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986: Third Epoch of the Formative Age, by Universal House of Justice (1996). [about]
    34. Millennium Forum, by Universal House of Justice (2000). [about]
    35. More Constructive Encounter, A: A Bahá’í View of Religion and Human Rights, by Barney Leith, in Does God Believe in Human Rights? Essays on Religion and Human Rights, ed. Nazila Ghanea et al. (2007). Relationship between religion and human rights, and the work of the Bahá’í community in wholeheartedly supporting the theory and practice of universal rights. [about]
    36. Native American Vision and the Teachings of 'Abdu'l-Baha, by Paula Bidwell (2011). Presentation addressing issues of concern to Native Americans, cast in the light of statements of Abdu'l-Baha from his 1912 visit to the United States. [about]
    37. Nature of the Persecution against the Bahá'ís in Iran, by Bahá'í International Community (2010). [about]
    38. Nonpartisan Engagement in Public Affairs: A Critical Analysis of the Bahá'í Approach to Dialogue, Democracy, and Diplomatic Relations, by Bui Tyril (2009). How to address the dilemma of protesting human rights abuses in Iran while remaining non-partisan. Link to thesis (offsite). [about]
    39. Papel de la Juventud en los Derechos Humanos, El, by Bahá'í International Community (1985). [about]
    40. Persecution of the Baha'is in Iran: 1979-1986: A 7-year campaign to eliminate a religious minority, by Bahá'í International Community (1986). Overview of activities and propaganda against Baha'is in Iran, and the responses of the United Nations. [about]
    41. Philosophical and Religious Contributions to the Emergence of Human Rights: The Bahá'í Perspective, by Dan Wheatley (2012). While some forms of religious extremism are contemptuous of human rights, and human rights are sometimes considered a contemporary secular religion, Baha'is believe that religious faith and human rights are more synergistic. [about]
    42. Prevención de Discriminaciones y Protección a las Minorías, 1988, by Bahá'í International Community. [about]
    43. Prevención de Discriminaciones y Protección a las Minorías, 1989, by Bahá'í International Community. [about]
    44. Protecting the Human Family: Humanitarian Intervention, International Law, and Bahá'í Principles, by Brian D. Lepard, in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 13:1-4 (2003). [about]
    45. References to the Bahá'í Faith in the U.S. State Department's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, by United States Department of State (1991). Excerpts from the State Department's annual compilation of Country Reports on Human Rights Practices on discrimination against the Baha'i Faith and persecution of its adherents in twenty countries. [about]
    46. Releasing the Captive from His Chains, by Steven Scholl, in dialogue magazine, 1:1 (1986). Baha'i activism for human rights, and involvement with Amnesty International. Includes response by Drew Remignanti. [about]
    47. Religious Freedom in the Asia Pacific: The Experience of the Bahá'í Community, by Graham Hassall, in Human Rights, Faith, and Culture (1998). Some aspects of the Baha'i Community's approach to one human rights initiative, the "Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief." [about]
    48. Religious Minority Rights, by Christopher Buck, in Islamic World, ed. Andrew Rippin (2008). Discussion of three minority religions within Islamic states that have experienced persecution and hardships which attracted the attention of the international community: the Alevis, the Ahmadiyya, and Baha'is. [about]
    49. Right to Education, The: The Case of the Bahá'ís in Iran, by Tahirih Tahririha-Danesh, in Bahá'í-Inspired Perspectives on Human Rights (2001). [about]
    50. Seneca Falls First Woman's Rights Convention of 1848: The Sacred Rites of the Nation, by Bradford W. Miller, in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 8:3 (1998). [about]
    51. Shirin Ebadi: A collection of newspaper articles (2003). Articles about the winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize who has championed the rights of the Baha'i community. [about]
    52. Situation of the Bahá'ís in Egypt, by Bahá'í International Community (2007). Oral Statement of the Bahá’í International Community to the Human Rights Council (6th Session of the Human Rights Council), Geneva, Switzerland. [about]
    53. Spiritual Foundation of Human Rights, The: A Bahá'í Perspective, by Suheil Badi Bushrui (1997). [about]
    54. Television Address of Iranian President Khatami, by Universal House of Justice and Bahá'í International Community (1998). Questions and answers about a historically unique television interview of Iranian President Khatami, given on CNN Wednesday, Jan 7, 1998. [about]
    55. Trial of The Yaran ("Friends in Iran"): Six Essays, by Christopher Buck, in Iran Press Watch (2009). Six essays by Buck from a legal perspective about the extended imprisonment of seven Baha'i leaders in Tehran. [about]
    56. Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Bahá'í Scriptures, The, by Juan Cole, in Occasional Papers in Shaykhi, Babi and Baha'i Studies, 3:2 (1999). [about]
     
    See all tags, sorted numerically or alphabetically.
    Home Site Map Forum Links Copyright About Contact
    .
    . .