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Search for tag "Human rights"

from the chronology

date event locations tags see also
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
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 BIC; Human Rights Commission; Genocide Convention
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; DC Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Organizations of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the United States House of Representatives; religious persecution
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; Human Rights; Education
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 Commission on Human Rights; religious 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 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; Hashemi Rafsanjani; Ali Khamenei; Galindo Pohl; Human rights; United Nations; United Nations Commission on Human Rights; Memorandum Iran
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; United Nations Commission on Human Rights; Memorandum Iran
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 United Nations World Conference on Human Rights
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; Human Rights; Education
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; Association for Support of Children's Rights; Defender of Human Rights Center
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]
New York; Irán UN General Assembly; human rights
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; Human rights; Higher education
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
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 Opposition; Persecution; Human rights; History (general)
2013 15 Jul Iranian filmmaker and blogger 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 ] Iran Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE); Persecution; Human Rights; Education
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; Human rights; History (general); Consitutions
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; Persecution; Human rights; Imprisonments
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; Yemen Yemen; United Nations resolutions; 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. 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]
  7. 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]
  8. 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]
  9. 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]
  10. 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]
  11. 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]
  12. 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]
  13. Indigenous rights and women's rights in the Samoan Bahá'í community, by Maureen Sier, in Bahá'í Studies Review, 9 (1999). [about]
  14. 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]
  15. 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]
  16. Iran since the Revolution, by Sepehr Zabih (1982). Discussion of the Iranian constitution, with one passing mention of Baha'is not being recognized. [about]
  17. 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]
  18. Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-86, by Universal House of Justice (1996). [about]
  19. Nature of the Persecution against the Bahá'ís in Iran, by Bahá'í International Community (2010). [about]
  20. 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]
  21. Papel de la Juventud en los Derechos Humanos, El, by Bahá'í International Community (1985). [about]
  22. 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]
  23. Prevención de Discriminaciones y Protección a las Minorías, 1988, by Bahá'í International Community. [about]
  24. Prevención de Discriminaciones y Protección a las Minorías, 1989, by Bahá'í International Community. [about]
  25. 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]
  26. 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]
  27. 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]
  28. 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]
 
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