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Search for tag "Persecution, Other"

from the chronology

date event locations tags see also
1850. 13 May-
2 Jan 1851 c.
Zanján upheaval. A quarrel among children escalates into opposition and hostility towards Hujjat. [B185; DB540–1]

  • Hujjat had converted a sizeable proportion of the town. Tension mounted between the Bábís and the ‘ulamá. [BBR114]
  • See BW18:381 for a chronicle of events.
  • B185–8, 209–13; BBD111, 245; BBR114–26; BBRSM28, 216; DB527–81; GPB44–5; TN245.
Zanjan; Iran Hujjat; Zanjan upheaval; Upheavals; Ulama; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution Newspaper coverage of the Zanjan Upheaval
1850. 27 May-
21 Jun
First Nayríz upheaval.

Vahíd travels from Yazd towards Shíráz, eventually coming to Nayríz. He goes to the Mosque of Jum‘ih where he ascends the pulpit and proclaims the Cause of God. The Governor makes moves against him and Vahíd orders his companions to occupy the fort of Khájih. The siege that follows lasts a month. [B178, 204–5; BBR109–13; BW18:381]

  • See BW18:381 for a chronicle of events.
  • See RB1:325–31 for the story of Vahíd. See also GPB50, KI223.
  • See also B178–82; BBD171; BBR109–13; BBRSM28, 216; DB485–99; GPB42–4; RB1:264; TN245.
Nayriz; Yazd; Shiraz; Iran Vahid (Siyyid Yahyay-i-Darabi); Mosques; Jumih; Governors; Fort Khajih; Nayriz upheaval; Upheavals; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1850. 17 Jun At Nayríz, Vahíd receives a message from the Governor offering a truce and a promise of safety written on the Qur'án. He, together with five attendants, leaves the fortress and is received into the camp of his enemies where he is entertained with great ceremony for three days. [B180–1; BW18:381] Nayriz; Iran Vahid (Siyyid Yahyay-i-Darabi); Truces; Nayriz upheaval; Upheavals; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1852 -1853 "In the hecatomb of 1852-1853 the ranks of the Bábís were drastically thinned. Most of the leading disciples were killed, only a few surviving in distant exile. The next ten years were hopelessly dark. Within the Bábí community there was much confusion and fear. It seemed at times that all the heroism, all the sacrifices, had been in vain. Enemies gloated over the virtual extermination of what they saw as a pernicious heretical sect. Sympathetic outsiders concluded that the movement that had shown so much promise cracked under persecution and collapsed, leaving behind only a glorious memory." [Varqá and Rúhu'lláh: Deathless in Martyrdom by Kazem Kazemzadeh, World Order, Winter 1974-75 p.29] Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Babi history
1867 16 March An appeal by 53 Bahá’ís is sent from Shushtar, Iran addressed to the US Congress. Shushtar; Iran; United States Petitions; United States government; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution 1867 Petition
1867. Apr An appeal by 53 Bahá'ís "in Baghdád" addressed to the United States Congress arrives at the American Consulate in Beirut. [BBR265, Petition from the Persian Reformers] Baghdad; Shushtar Petitions; United States government; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution 1867 Petition
1868 Aug Mullá Muhammad-Ridá, Ridá'r-Rúh is poisoned in Yazd. [BW18:383] Yazd; Iran Mulla Muhammad-Rida (Ridar-Ruh); Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1870 In Zanján, Áqá Siyyid Ashraf is arrested, condemned to death as a Bábí and executed. [BWG470]
  • He is the son of Mír Jalíl, one of the companions of Hujjat who was martyred in Tihrán at the end of the Zanján episode. [BKG470]
  • He was born during the siege at Zanján. [BKG470]
  • His mother was brought to prison to persuade him to recant his faith but she threatened to disown him if he did so. [BBD25; BKG470; ESW73–4; GPB199–200]
  • See G135–6 for Bahá'u'lláh's Tablet concerning Ashraf and his mother.
Zanjan; Iran Ashraf, Aqa Siyyid; Mir Jalil; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1889. 18 Jul The Bahá'ís are persuaded to leave the Telegraph Office in Isfahán after being assured that they will receive protection in their villages. [BW18:383] Isfahan; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1889 Aug Bahá'ís of Sidih and Najafábád, having received no help or protection, go to Tihrán to petition the Sháh. [BW18:383] Tihran; Sidih; Najafabad; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Petitions
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
1911 23 Aug 'Abdu'l-Bahá went for a carriage ride in the nearby hills. ["With 'Abdu'l-Bahá in Switzerland" by Juliet Thompson, SoW Vol 2 no 14 (Nov 23, 1911) p9-13, ABF15]
  • Later that day, by chance, 'Abdu'l-Bahá encountered the Persian prince, Sultán-Mas'ud Mírzá Zillu's-Sultán (1850-1918), the eldest son of Násirid-/dín Sháh, (1850-1918) in the Parc Hotel. He was in voluntary exile in Europe accompanied by his four sons. At various times, he had been the governor or governor-general of various provinces in Iran from 1862 to 1907 and had persecuted the Bahá'ís zealously. He was responsible for ratifying the execution of the King of Martyrs and the Beloved of Martyrs in 1879. Upon meeting 'Abdu'l-Bahá he presented his excuses but 'Abdu'l-Bahá forgave him by saying "All those things are in the past. Never think of them again." [DJT172-3, ABF17]
  • Annie Boylan arrived in Thonon-les-Bains from America by way of Lausanne. 'Abdu'l-Bahá is reported to have told her that the building of the Shrine of the Báb was the fulfillment of the prophecy that "the Lord would come and rebuild the temple that had been torn down". He added that the Tomb of the Báb and that of Bahá'u'lláh were considered the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkar. [SoW vol 11. no. 1 (March 21, 1920) p1-15, ABF18]
Thonon-les-Bains; France; Isfahan; Iran Abdul-Baha, First Western tour; Zillus-Sultan; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Annie Boylan; Mirza Muhammad-Hasan (King of Martyrs); Mirza Muhammad-Husayn (Beloved of Martyrs); King of Martyrs and Beloved of Martyrs; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1925 10 May A Muslim Court in Egypt pronounces the Faith to be an independent religion. [BBRSM173; BW2:31;BW3:49]
  • For text of the judgement see BW3:48–50.
  • This was ‘the first charter of liberty emancipating the Bahá’í Faith from the fetters of orthodox Islam’. [BA100-1, 120-123; BW3:110–11; GPBXII, 302, 365; CB306; PP319–20; UD65 WOB99, LoF57, SETPE1p102-104]
    1. "an attack which, viewed in the perspective of history, will be acclaimed by future generations as a landmark not only in the Formative Period of the Faith but in the history of the first Bahá'í century. Indeed, the sequel to this assault may be said to have opened a new chapter in the evolution of the Faith itself, an evolution which, carrying it through the successive stages of repression, of emancipation, of recognition as an independent Revelation, and as a state religion, must lead to the establishment of the Bahá'í state and culminate in the emergence of the Bahá'í World Commonwealth. [GPB364]
  • Subsequent to the court's decision...

      "the presentation of a petition addressed by the national elected representatives of that community to the Egyptian Prime Minister, the Minister of the Interior and the Minister of Justice (supported by a similar communication addressed by the American National Spiritual Assembly to the Egyptian Government, see BW4p166), enclosing a copy of the judgment of the Court, and of their national Bahá'í constitution and by-laws, requesting them to recognize their Assembly as a body qualified to exercise the functions of an independent court and empowered to apply, in all matters affecting their personal status, the laws and ordinances revealed by the Author of their Faith--these stand out as the initial consequences of a historic pronouncement that must eventually lead to the establishment of that Faith on a basis of absolute equality with its sister religions in that land." [GPB367]

      "it became a lever which the Egyptian Bahá'í community, followed later by its sister-communities, readily utilized for the purpose of asserting the independence of its Faith and of seeking for it the recognition of its government. Translated into several languages, circulated among Bahá'í communities in East and West, it gradually paved the way for the initiation of negotiations between the elected representatives of these communities and the civil authorities in Egypt, in the Holy Land, in Persia and even in the United States of America, for the purpose of securing the official recognition by these authorities of the Faith as an independent religion. " [GPB366]

    Background Information

      "It was in the village of Kawmu's-Sa`áyidih, in the district of Beba, of the province of Beni Suef in Upper Egypt, that, as a result of the religious fanaticism which the formation of a Bahá'í assembly had kindled in the breast of the headman of that village, and of the grave accusations made by him to both the District Police Officer and the Governor of the province--accusations which aroused the Muhammadans to such a pitch of excitement as to cause them to perpetrate shameful acts against their victims--that action was initiated by the notary of the village, in his capacity as a religious plaintiff authorized by the Ministry of Justice, against three Bahá'í residents of that village, demanding that their Muslim wives be divorced from them on the grounds that their husbands had abandoned Islám after their legal marriage as Muslims." [GPB364-365]

  • See message from the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá'ís of Egypt dated 21 December 2006.
Kawmus-Saayidih; Beba; Beni Suef; Egypt Recognition; Islam; Interfaith dialogue; Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1928 Apr The Soviet authorities abrogate the constitution of the Spiritual Assembly of ‘Ishqábád (now Ashgabat, Turkmenistan) and the assembly is dissolved. [BW3:37, BW8p88, SETPE1p154]
  • Bahá’í schools and libraries are closed. [BBRSM173]
  • Not long after, the government orders that all religious buildings in the Soviet Union are the property of the government and the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár is expropriated and leased back to the Bahá’ís. [BBD122; BBR473; BBRSM161; BW3:37]
  • For the history of the persecution of the Bahá’ís in the Soviet Union see BBR473 and BW3:34–43.
  • PP364–5 says it was 1929.
Ishqabad; Turkmenistan; Soviet Union Persecution, Soviet Union; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Ishqabad
1934 The government of Iran takes several measures against the Bahá’ís throughout the country. [BW18:389]
  • Nineteen Bahá’í schools are closed in Káshán, Qazvín, Yazd, Najafábád, Ábádih and elsewhere. [ARG109]
  • Bahá’í meetings are forbidden in many towns, including Tihrán, Mashhad, Sabzivár, Qazvín and Arák.
  • Bahá’ís centres in Káshán, Hamadán and Záhidán are closed by the authorities.
  • Some Bahá’í government employees are dismissed.
  • Some Bahá’í military personnel are stripped of their rank and imprisoned.
  • Bahá’ís in many places are harassed over the filling-in of marriage certificates, census forms and other legal documents.
Iran; Kashan; Qazvin; Yazd; Najafabad; Abadih; Tihran; Mashhad; Sabzivar; Arak; Hamadan; Zahidan Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Tarbiyat School; Bahai schools
1934 6 Dec The Tarbíyat Bahá’í Schools in Tihrán and all other Bahá'í schools across the country are closed by order of the Minister of Education (headed by 'Ali-Asghar-i-Hikmat, a well-known Azali) when they fail to open on a holy day. [BBD221–2; BW18:389; CB312; GPB363; PP308; RoB4p313]
  • For Western accounts of the episode see BBR475–9.
Tihran; Iran Tarbiyat school; Bahai schools; Holy days; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Azali Babis
1935 The persecution against the Bahá’ís in Iran continues. [BW18:389]
  • Meetings in the Bahá’í Centre in Tihrán are banned.
  • A number of Bahá’ís in Bandar Sháh are arrested and imprisoned.
  • The secretary of the Local Spiritual Assembly of Arák is arrested.
  • Bahá’ís in Qazvín are arrested and harassed.
  • A Bahá’í in Záhidán is arrested.
Iran; Tihran; Bandar Shah; Arak; Qazvin; Zahidan Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Other; Persecution; LSA
1936 Jun The persecution of the Bahá’ís of Iran continues. [BW18:389]
  • All Bahá’í meetings are banned throughout Iran.
  • Several local Bahá’í centres are attacked or closed down.
  • Bahá’ís in Bandar Sháh are interrogated by the police for closing their shops on Bahá’í holy days.
Iran; Bandar Shah Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Holy days
1937 The persecution of the Bahá’ís in Iran continues throughout the country. [BW18:389]
  • Many Bahá’ís employed in the police force, army and government departments are dismissed.
  • Six members of the Local Spiritual Assembly of Ahváz are arrested.
  • Bahá’ís closing their shops on Bahá’í holy days in Bandar Sháh are arrested.
  • All Bahá’í meetings in Kirmánsháh, Bírjand, Arák and other towns are prohibited by police order.
  • Five Bahá’í families are attacked in their homes in Cham-tang, near Hindíyán. They are severely beaten and forced to leave the village.
Iran; Ahvaz; Bandar Shah; Kirmanshah; Birjand; Arak; Cham-tang Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Other; Persecution; LSA; Holy days
1937 May All Bahá’í activities and institutions are banned in Germany by order of the Gestapo owing to the Faith’s ‘international and pacifist teachings’. [BBRSM185]
  • PP305 says this was June.
  • Bahá’í books, archives and records are confiscated and a number of Bahá’ís are later tried and imprisoned. [BBRSM185]
Germany Persecution, Germany; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Bans; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Court cases; World War II
1938 Persecution of the Bahá’ís of Iran continues throughout the country. [BW18:389]
  • Bahá’ís marrying without a Muslim ceremony are investigated, including several hundred in Tihrán alone. Most are imprisoned pending trial and are imprisoned for six to eight months afterwards and fined.
  • Bahá’í meetings in Kirmánsháh, Záhidán, Mashhad and other towns are harassed by the police.
Iran; Tihran; Kirmanshah; Zahidan; Mashhad Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1938 5 Feb Bahá'ís in the Soviet Union are persecuted by the authorities. [BBR473, BW8p87-90, 179-81, BW14p479-481, SETPE1p155]
  • Five hundred Bahá'í men are imprisoned in Turkistán. [Bw8p89]
  • Many Persian Bahá'ís living in various cities of the Soviet Union are arrested, some are sent to Siberia, others to Pavladar in northern Kazakhstan and yet others to Iran. [BW8p87, 179, 184]
  • Six hundred Bahá'í refugees-women, girls, children and a few old men, go to Iran, most to Mashhad. [BW8p89]
  • The Bahá'í Temple in Ishqábád (now Ashgabat, Turkmenistan) is confiscated and turned into an art gallery. [BDD122, BW8p89]
  • The Bahá'í schools are ordered closed. [BW8p89]
  • Spiritual Assemblies and all other administrative institutions in the Caucasus are ordered dissolved. [BW8p89]
Soviet Union; Caucasus; Turkistan; Ishqabad; Turkmenistan; Kazakhstan; Iran; Mashhad Mashriqul-Adhkar, Ishqabad; Persecution, Soviet Union; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Bahai schools; LSA
1939 Ridván The first Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Budapest is elected. There are about 14 believers in the community, mostly of Jewish ancestry. This will cause difficulty for the community in the Nazi persecutions that are to follow. [Rebirth: Memoirs of Renée Szanto-Felbermann p108]

According to the description of Renée Szántó-Felbermann, they could not even meet in Budapest: „It was at their (the Sugárs) house in Alag (today part of Budakeszi) that we elected the first Spiritual Assembly in the history of Hungary, Ridvan 1939. When we boarded the train for Alag, in order to avoid suspicion, we Bahá’ís did not remain together, but went by twos and threes. The same procedure was repeated on our arrival to Alag. It was a memorable, unforgettable evening, that Feast of Ridván in the small house at Alag fragrant with spring flowers. We were all deeply moved. And our dear Bertha Matthiesen was radiant. … Jenő Sugár was elected chairman, Mária Kleinberger became treasurer and I continued as secretary.” [www.bahai.hu]

  • Ms Bertha Matthiesen spends a lot of time in Hungary between 1937 and 1939 when most declarations take place and the first spiritual assembly is formed. [www.bahai.hu]
  • Mr Emeric Sala (Imre Szalavetz) a Canadian Bahá'í who was born in Hungary visits Budapest in 1933 and in 1937. [www.bahai.hu]
  • Canadian travel teacher Ms Lorol Schopflocher visits Budapest in March-April 1937. [www.bahai.hu]
Budapest; Hungary First Local Spiritual Assemblies; World War II; War (general); Persecution, Hungary; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Jews
1940 (in the decade) Bahá’ís in Argentina face opposition throughout the decade with both the police and nationalists intimidating them. Argentina Persecution, Argentina; Persecution, Other; Persecution
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
1944 after Aug Following the murder of Bahá’ís at Sháhrúd, Iran, and the widespread publicity on the outcome of the trial, there is an upsurge in persecution of Bahá’ís throughout Iran. [BW18:389]
  • At Ábádih Bahá’ís are beaten and their houses sacked. [BW18:389]
  • The Bahá’í centre at Bandar Jaz is attacked. [BW18:389]
  • Two Bahá’ís are knifed at Bandar Sháh. The attackers are set free and attack a further three Bahá’ís, leaving one an invalid. [BW18:390]
  • Bahá’ís, including women and children, are attacked and beaten at Bushrúyih, their homes and shops looted and burned and the Bahá’í cemetery desecrated. [BW18:390]
  • Bahá’í houses are attacked and looted at Fárán, Káshán and Ná’in. [BW13:390]
  • Bahá’í houses are set on fire in Gulpáygán and Zábul. [BW18:390]
  • Bahá’ís are driven from town in Bujnúrd, Gunábád and Tabas. [BW18:390]
  • The Bahá’í cemetery at Mahmúdábád is desecrated.
  • Bahá’ís are beaten at Miyán-du-áb, Rafsanján, Sangsar and Sírján. [BW18:390]
  • Bahá’ís are stoned at Qasr-i-Shírín. [BW18:390]
Iran; Abadih; Bandar Jaz; Bandar Shah; Bushruyih; Faran; Kashan; Nain; Gulpaygan; Zabul; Bujnurd; Gunabad; Tabas; Mahmudabad; Miyan-du-ab; Rafsanjan; Sangsar; Sirjan; Qasr-i-Shirin Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Destruction; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1945 14 Aug The German Bahá’ís, 80 per cent of whom live in the American sector of occupied Germany, obtain permission to re-organize. [BBRSM185] Germany Persecution, Germany; Persecution, Other; Persecution; World War II
1950 (in the decade) In Iran, the Hujjatiyya Society is started by Shaykh Mahmúd Halabí to persecute and harass the Bahá’ís. [s1296]
  • During the Pahlaví era it confined itself to this end and was called the Anti-Bahá’í Society. [SI296]
Iran Hojjatieh Society; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1951 Throughout Iran, the government introduces repressive measures against Bahá’ís. [BW18:390]
  • Bahá’ís are dismissed from government positions. [BW18:390]
  • Fifty Bahá’í employees of the public hospital in Mashhad are dismissed. [BW18:390]
Mashhad; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1953 Anjoman-e Hojjatieh ("Society of Allah's Proof Over Creation"), also called the Hojjatieh Society founded specifically as an anti-Bahá'í organization by a charismatic Shiite Muslim cleric, Shaikh Mahmoud Halabi in the aftermath of the coup d'état of 1953. Between the early 1950s and the early 1970s a great number of the future elite of the Islamic revolution were trained by Hujjatieh. During the 1979 Iranian revolution, the Society was to play an important role in stirring animosity against Bahá'ís. However, in part because of differences in theology—among other things the Hojjatieh believe a truly Islamic state cannot be established until the return of the 12th Imam—the Society fell into disfavour and was banned by the regime in 1984. [Hojjatieh Society, Wiki] Iran Hojjatieh Society; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1954 8 Dec Bahá’ís in Ádharbáyján are dismissed from their employment in the Ministries of Health and Public Highways. [BW18:390] Adharbayjan Persecution, Adharbayjan; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1955 Twenty–two African Bahá’ís are expelled from the Belgian Congo. Belgian Congo Persecution, Belgian Congo; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1955 4 Feb Bahá’í women in Hisár, Khurásán, Iran, are assaulted. [BW18:390] Hisar; Khurasan; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1955 May-Jul Persecutions against the Bahá’ís continue throughout Iran. BW18:391]
  • Many Bahá’ís are beaten, including women and children.
  • Bahá’í houses and shops are looted and burned.
  • Bahá’ís employed in government service are dismissed.
  • Bodies of dead Bahá’ís are disinterred and mutilated.
  • Young Bahá’í women are abducted and forced to marry Muslims.
  • Several Bahá’í women are publicly stripped and/or raped.
  • Crops and orchards belonging to Bahá’ís are looted and destroyed.
  • Bahá’í children are expelled from schools.
  • The House of the Báb in Shíráz is damaged.
Shiraz; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Destruction; Persecution; Bab, House of (Shiraz)
1955 2 May The police lock the doors of the National Bahá’í Centre in Tihrán thus preventing the holding of the final day of the National Bahá’í Convention. [BW18:390] Tihran; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Conventions, National; Haziratul-Quds
1955 7 May The Iranian army occupies the National Bahá’í Centre in Tihrán. [BW18:390] Tihran; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Haziratul-Quds
1955 8 May Bahá’ís are beaten at Dámghán, Khurásán, Iran. [BW18:390] Damghan; Khurasan; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1955 8 May The Bahá’í centre at Rasht, Iran, is attacked and taken over. [BW18:390] Rasht; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Haziratul-Quds
1955 9 May Bahá’í houses are attacked and looted at Shíráz, Iran. [BW18:390] Shiraz; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1955 9 May The Bahá’í centre at Ahváz, Iran, is taken over. [BW18:390] Ahvaz; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Haziratul-Quds
1955 16 May The Bahá’í centre at Isfahán, Iran, is taken over. [BW18:390] Isfahan; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Haziratul-Quds
1955 17 May The Iranian Minister of the Interior announces in parliament that the Government has issued orders for the suppression of the ‘Bahá’í sect’ and the liquidation of the Bahá’í centres. [BBRSM174; BW18:391] Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Haziratul-Quds
1955 22 May The dome of the National Bahá’í Centre in Tihrán is demolished with the personal participation of several high-ranking army officers. The publication of the pictures of this episode encourages a widespread outburst of persecution of Bahá’ís throughout Iran. [BW18:391]
  • After the coup in 1953 the Shah was indebted to the clergy for their support and so they were given a greater latitude to persecute the Bahá'ís. In an attempt to show his gratitude the Shah sent a high ranking officer to ask if they had any special requests and they called for the Bahá'í Centre in Tehran to be destroyed. The army occupied the Centre and high-ranking officers and clerics jointly demolished the dome. [Towards a History of Iran’s Baha’i Community During the Reign of Mohammad Reza Shah, 1941-1979 by Mina Yazdani.]
  • For pictures see BW13:293–4.
Tihran; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Destruction; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Haziratul-Quds
1955 24 May The Bahá’í centre at Karaj, Iran, is taken over. [BW18:391] Karaj; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Haziratul-Quds
1955 30 May Bahá’ís are attacked and wounded and their houses attacked at Ábádih, Iran. [BW18:391] Abadih; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1955 1 Jun The House of Bahá’u’lláh in Tákur, Mázandarán, Iran, is taken over. [BW18:391] Takur; Mazandaran; Iran House of Bahaullah (Takur); Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
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
1955 Sep-Oct Bahá’ís in Iran continue to be dismissed from their employment. Bahá’í students are expelled from Shíráz University. [BW18:391] Shiraz; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Education; Persecution; Haziratul-Quds
1957 Bahá’í activity in Czechoslovakia is banned by the authorities, several members of the Prague community are arrested and Vuk Echtner is imprisoned for two years. Prague; Czechoslovakia Persecution, Czechoslovakia; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution
1961 The military government in Indonesia issues instructions to local authorities to ban all Bahá’í activities and to confiscate all Bahá’í property. [MC329] Indonesia Persecution, Indonesia; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1961 7 Dec An article appears in the nationally prominent Moroccan newspaper Al Alam lamenting the decline of Islám and attacking the Bahá’í Faith. [MC17]
  • This gives rise to persecution of the Bahá’ís in ensuing months.
Morocco Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1962 Bahá’í homes in Morocco are searched by the police and Bahá’í literature seized. [MC17] Morocco Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1962 The administrative institutions of the Faith are banned in Indonesia by President Sukarno. [BW19:41]
  • BW15:174 says this was in 1964.
Indonesia Persecution, Indonesia; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1962 Jan A Bahá’í Professor of Fine Arts at the University of Tetuan, Morocco, is dismissed from his post and warned to have no association with other Bahá’ís. [MC17] Morocco Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1962 12 Apr Four Bahá’ís are arrested in Nador, Morocco. [BW13:289; BW14:97]
  • Eventually 14 Bahá’ís in total are arrested: 7 in Nador, 2 in Fez and 5 in Tetuan. [MC17]
  • For an outline of the situation as it developed over 20 months see MC16–19.
Morocco Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Other; Persecution
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 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 31 Mar King Hassan II of Morocco states in a televised interview in the United States that the Bahá’í Faith is not a religion and is ‘against good order and also morals’. [MC415] Morocco King Hassan II; Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Other; Persecution
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 5 Jun onwards Throughout Iran, advantage is taken of the general anti-government disorder to launch attacks on Bahá’ís in several localities under the cover of these disturbances. [BW18:391]
  • The Bahá’í cemetery in Tihrán is attacked, its buildings burnt and graves desecrated. [BW18:391]
  • Bahá’í houses are attacked and burned at Árán and the local Bahá’í centre attacked. [BW18:391]
  • The Bahá’í centre at Isfahán is attacked. [BW18:391]
  • Several Bahá’í homes and businesses are attacked in Shíráz. BW18:391]
  • An attack on the House of the Báb in Shíráz is attempted. BW18:391]
  • Bahá’ís are dismissed from government employment. [BW18:391]
Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Destruction; Persecution, Other; Persecution
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
1966 Dec A campaign is launched against the Bahá’ís of Saysán, Ádharbáyján, by Mullá Mihdí Sultánpúr. [BW18:391] Saysan; Adharbayjan Persecution, Adharbayjan; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1968 – 1969 Throughout Iran, pressure on Bahá’ís intensifies. [BW18:391]
  • Applications for government employment are refused. [BW18:391]
  • Bahá’ís are refused admission to colleges and universities. [BW18:391]
  • Bahá’í centres are closed. [BW18:391]
  • Individual Bahá’ís are attacked. [BW18:391]
Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Education; Persecution
1968 4 Nov Following the participation of Algerian Bahá’ís in the first Oceanic Conference in Palermo, Sicily, and subsequent international news coverage, foreign Bahá’ís in Algeria are summoned by the police and interrogated. [BW15:172] Algeria Persecution, Algeria; Persecution, Other; Persecution
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
1969 Apr The Bahá’í Faith is banned in Algeria by official decree, all Bahá’í institutions are disbanded and the National Spiritual Assembly dissolved. [BW15:189; BW19:41] Algeria Persecution, Algeria; Persecution, Other; Persecution; NSA; Persecution, Bans
1970 May In Iraq the Baathist Revolutionary Command Council issued Decree No. 105 to ban Bahá’í activities and disbanding all Bahá’í institutions. [BBRSM174; BW15:173; BW16:137] Iraq Persecution, Iraq; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Bans; Persecution
1975 Following the creation of the Rastákhíz political party by the Sháh of Iran and the refusal of the Bahá’ís to join it, although membership in it is compulsory, Bahá’ís throughout Iran are put under pressure. [BW18:391]
  • Many Bahá’ís lose their jobs. [BW18:391]
Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1975 Feb The Arab Boycott Office, at its meeting in Cairo, announces that the Bahá’í Faith has been placed on its blacklist. [BW16:136; BW17:78] Cairo; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1977 Dec Properties confiscated by the Iraqi government belonging to individual Bahá’ís are returned; properties and funds belonging to the Faith are turned over to the Ministry of the Interior for disposal. [BW17:80] Iraq Persecution, Iraq; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1978 In Iran, many local Bahá’í centres are seized by armed men of the revolutionary committees, along with files and membership lists. [BW17:79–80] Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Haziratul-Quds
1978 Dec Two hundred Bahá’í homes near Shíráz are burned and the Bahá’ís driven from them, property is stolen and many Bahá’ís are beaten. [BW17:79; BW19:42]
  • At one point 700 Bahá’ís are homeless and their means of livelihood destroyed. [BW17:79]
Shiraz; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Destruction; Persecution
1978 Dec Bahá’í homes in Andarún, Iran, are besieged; one Bahá’í is badly beaten. [BW18:275–6] Andarun; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1978 15 Dec A cabled message is sent to 93 national spiritual assemblies stating that the Bahá’ís in Iran and the Holy Places in Tihrán and Shíráz are in peril. [BW17:79] Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; NSA
1979 The House of Bahá’u’lláh in Tihrán is confiscated by the revolutionary government of Iran. [BW17:79] Tihran; Iran House of Bahaullah (Tihran); Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1979 Bahá’í cemeteries across Iran are confiscated, including the cemetery in Tihrán, which contains the graves of several Hands of the Cause and other distinguished Bahá’ís and several thousand other graves of Bahá’ís.
  • Many graves are desecrated and the gravestones smashed.
Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Destruction; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Cemeteries and graves
1979 The Síyáh-Chál in Tihrán and the houses of Quddús and Hujjat are seized and occupied by members of the revolutionary committees. [BW17:79–80] Iran; Tihran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Siyah Chal (Black Pit); Quddus; Hujjat
1979 The National Spiritual Assembly of Afghanistan is disbanded owing to persecution of the Bahá’ís and the political instability of the country. Afghanistan Persecution, Afghanistan; Persecution, Other; Persecution; NSA
1979 12 Jan Bahá’í members of the Sádát-Mahmúdí clan of the Buyr-Ahmad tribe of central Iran are driven from their homes by other clan members. [BW18:271]
  • For the report of this incident and its aftermath see BW18:271–4.
  • For a picture see BW18:272.
Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1979 Feb In Iran, Bahá’í representatives meet with high-ranking clergy in Shíráz, Qum and Mashhad to combat the widespread accusation that the Bahá’ís of Iran had supported the regime of the Sháh. [BW18:252] Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1979 Feb Revolutionary Guards raid the offices of Nawnahálán, a Bahá’í investment company, and the Umaná’ Corporation, a foundation for the purchase and maintenance of Bahá’í properties, and impound the keys. [BW18:252]
  • In the weeks following, the offices are occupied by the Revolutionary Guards and the staff are dismissed. [BW18:252]
Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1979 15 Feb The National Hazíratu’l-Quds of Iran is seized by the Revolutionary Guards. [BW18:250]
  • All the records of the National Spiritual Assembly, including a membership list of all the Bahá’ís in Iran, are confiscated by the government. [BW19:43]
Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Haziratul-Quds; NSA
1979 spring The House of Bahá’u’lláh in Tákur, Iran, is confiscated by the Revolutionary Government. [BW18:289] Takur; Iran House of Bahaullah (Takur); Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1979 Apr Revolutionary Guards in Iran occupy the House of the Báb in Shíráz and neighbouring Bahá’í properties, explaining that it is a temporary measure intended to protect the building. [BW17:79] Shiraz; Iran Bab, House of (Shiraz); Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1979 summer In Iran, the offices of Nawnahálán and the Umaná’ Corporation are taken over by Revolutionary Guards. [BW18:252] Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1979 Sep Revolutionary committees in Shahsavár, ‘Ábádán and Tabríz, Iran, order the arrest of Bahá’ís. [BW18:255]
  • Among those arrested are members of local spiritual assemblies.
  • [BW18:255]
  • Bahá’í homes in Tabríz are raided and literature seized. [BW18:255]
Shahsavar; Abadan; Tabriz; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1979 Oct In Iran, Bahá’ís in the ministries of education, health and social administration are dismissed from their jobs. [BW18:255] Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1979 Nov Bahá’í meetings are prohibited in Shasavár, Iran. [BW18:255] Shasavar; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
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
1979 End of the year In Iran, Nawnahálán and the Umaná’ Corporation are stripped of their assets and non-Bahá’í directors, inimical to the aims of the companies, are appointed. [BW18:252] Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
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
1982 One of the members of the National Spiritual Assembly of Vietnam sent to a ‘re-education’ camp is released owing to ill health; the other remains in detention. [BW18:96] Vietnam Persecution, Vietnam; Persecution, Other; Persecution
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 23 Aug Seyyed Hussein Musavi Tabrizi, the Attorney General of Iran, declared all Bahá'í administrative activities illegal, thus requiring the dissolution of the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran, along with some 400 Local Assemblies which operated under its jurisdiction. [Iran Press Watch] Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Bans; Persecution
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. 22 - 23 Oct The 14th Muzakarah (Conference) of the Fatwa Committee of the National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs Malaysia discussed the Bahá'í doctrine and decided that the Bahá'í doctrine is not part of Islam. Muslims involved in this teaching are deemed as apostates. Therefore, Muslims are prohibited from following this teaching and anyone involved in it must denounce it at once and repent. [Fatwa] Malaysia Fatwa; Persecution, Malaysia; Persecution, Other; Persecution
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
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
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
1989 Apr The Universal House of Justice announced a vast majority of prisoners that had been held by authorities in Irán had been released. [AWH62] Iran UHJ; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1989 Ridván The Universal House of Justice announces the release of the vast majority of the Bahá’í prisoners held in Iran. [AWH62] Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
1990 May The US Senate unanimously adopted a concurrent resolution condemning Irán's continued repression of the Bahá'ís calling for their complete emancipation. This was the fourth congressional appeal. [VV60] United States; Iran United States Senate; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
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 Jun The bodies of Bahá'ís buried in the Bahá'í section of a Tihrán cemetery are exhumed and taken by lorry to unknown destinations. [BW93–4:153] Tihran; Iran Cemeteries and graves; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
2000. 13 Jul A fatwa issued by the Johor State Fatwa Committee stated that the Bahá'í teachings are not the teachings of Islam, that Muslims who are involved in its teaching are apostates and therefore Muslims are forbidden to engage in teaching. [Fatwa] Johor State; Malaysia Fatwa; Persecution, Malaysia; Persecution, Other; Persecution
2003. 1 Jun A fatwa was issued by the Mufti of Sabah State Government that declared that the Bahá'í teachings were deviant teachings and that Muslims were forbidden all involvement including the practice of the Faith and the holding of any literature or other material. [Fatwa] Sabah State; Malaysia Fatwa; Persecution, Malaysia; Persecution, Other; Persecution
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
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 2 May Letter, from the Trades, Production, and Technical Services Society of Kermanshah to the Iranian Union of Battery Manufacturers, asked the Union to provide a list of members of the Bahá'í sect in their membership. [BWNS488] Kermanshah; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; 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 19 Aug Iran's Ministry of Interior orders officials throughout the country to step up the surveillance of Iranian Baha'is focusing in particular on their community activities. In a letter the Ministry requests provincial officials to complete a detailed questionnaire about the circumstances and activities of local Baha'is, including their "financial status," "social interactions," and "association with foreign assemblies," among other things. [BWNS488] Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
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
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 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
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
2011. 25 Jan January 25th marked the beginning of the revolution in Egypt where millions of protesters from all socio-economic and religious backgrounds demanded the overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. The security of the Bahá'ís during this period of unrest remained an issue. In February 2011, Bahá’í homes in Shouraneya were again set on fire, with some reports alleging the involvement of state security officers in the attack. Salafi leaders (an ultra-conservative reform branch within Sunni Islam) also continued to agitate against Bahá’í as a threat to national stability. Shouraneya; Egypt Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution
2011 3 May Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi and Mrs. Mahvash Sabet were transported to Qarchak prison, some 45 kilometres from Tehran where the conditions were even worse than those at Rajaei Shahr Prison. [BWNS821] Qarchak; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Qarchak prison; Rajaei Shahr Prison; Prisons; BWNS Conflict with below
2011 20 May Fariba Kamalabadi and Mahvash Sabet are returned to Evin Prison in Tehran. They had spent a brief spell in appalling conditions at Qarchak prison, (from 3 May) some 45 kilometers from Tehran. [BIC Evin]
  • The five men are still being held under close scrutiny in a wing of Gohardasht prison, reserved for political prisoners. [BIC Report]
Tihran; Iran Yaran; Evin Prison; Gohardasht Prison; Qarchak prison; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Prisons
2011 25 May Fariba Kamalabadi and Mahvash Sabet were transferred from appalling conditions at Qarchak prison to Evin prison in Tehran. [BWNS826] Qarchak; Iran; Tihran Qarchak prison; Evin prison; Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Prisons; 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 24 Feb The inaugural screening of Iranian Taboo by Dutch-Iranian filmmaker Reza Allamehzadeh in Los Angeles. [Iranian Taboo, BWNS890] Los Angeles; United States Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Documentaries; Iranian Taboo; Reza Allamehzadeh; BWNS
2012 11 May The Universal House of Justice sends a message to the Bahá'ís of Iran near the four-year anniversary of the illegal arrest and imprisonment of the former members of the Yárán and the more recent injustice meted out against the co-workers of the Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education (BIHE). [BWNS823, Message from the Universal House of Justice dated 11 May, 2012, In Farsi] Iran Yaran; Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE); Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; UHJ; BWNS
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)
2012. 29 Oct The Baha'i International Community publishes a special report on The Baha'is of Semnan: A Case Study in Religious Hatred. This video report highlights the effect on one community of the Iranian government’s methodical and organized campaign to incite hatred against the Baha'is and eliminate them as a viable social entity.

The Baha'is of Semnan have been the focus in recent years of an intensifying persecution, facing an array of economic, physical and psychological attacks. While these types of attacks on Baha'is are not confined to Semnan, the situation there is noteworthy for its particular intensity and the mobilization and coordination of official and semi-official elements -- including the police, the courts, local officials, and the clergy.

Semnan; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
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 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 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
2015 21 Dec Ayatollah Abdol-Hamid Masoumi-Tehrani, a senior Muslim cleric in Iran, has courageously called on his nation's people to uphold a higher standard of justice and dignity for all of their countrymen and women. In an article on his website, he dedicated a new piece of calligraphy—a passage from the writings of Bahá'u'lláh—to the Bahá'ís who were arrested on baseless charges in November 2015. [BWNS1089, BWNS987] Iran Ayatollah Abdol-Hamid Masoumi-Tehrani; Ayatollahs; Calligraphy; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; BWNS
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 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 18 - 22 Oct The Iranian Baha’i community was targeted during the bicentenary period. Between 18 and 21 October, some 19 individuals were arrested in Kermanshah, Tehran, and Birjand, and the homes 25 Baha’is were raided. Twenty-six Baha’i-owned shops around the country were sealed off by authorities because the owners observed the Holy Day on 21 October. These closures occurred in Shiraz, Marvdasht, Gorgan, and Gonbad. [BWNS1215] Iran; Kermanshah; Tihran; Birjand; Shiraz; Marvdasht; Gorgan; Gonbad Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Bahaullah, Birth of; BWNS
    2017 22 Oct Yemeni security forces raided a Baha’i gathering in Sana’a opening fire on the small group of people assembled to commemorate the bicentenary of the birth of Baha’u’llah. The attack occurred in the family home of prominent tribal leader Walid Ayyash, who had been abducted in April and whose whereabouts were unknown. The attackers were reportedly in four cars and an armored vehicle which they used to break down the front door of the house. They arrested Mr. Ayyash’s brother, Akram Ayyash.
    This event proved unequivocally the extent of Iran’s role in the persecution of the Baha’is in Yemen, especially in Sana’a, which is under the control of Iranian-backed militias. Similar attacks occurred in Iran during the period of celebration of the bicentennial of the birth of Bahá'úlláh. [BWNS1215]
    Sanaa; Yemen; Iran Persecution, Yemen; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Bahaullah, Birth of; BWNS
    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
    2017 5 Dec The release of Behrooz Tavakkoli, 66, from prison after serving a 10-year term. He was the third member of the Yaran to be released. [Iran Press Watch18533; Iran Press Watch18536; BWNS1225] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Court cases; 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 18 Jan In response to growing interest in the persecution of the Bahá’ís of Iran, a website was launched by the Bahá’í International Community providing a glimpse into several decades of discriminatory treatment against the Bahá’ís in that country. The website, named Archives of Bahá’í Persecution in Iran, made available, for the first time, thousands of official documents, reports, testimonials, and audio-visual material, revealing documentary evidence of years of relentless oppression. BWC; Iran Websites; Internet; Archives; Publications; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Bahai International Community
    2018 16 Feb The release of Saeid Rezaie, one of the seven members of the Yaran, the former leadership group of the Baha’is in Iran after completing his 10-year sentence. He was the fourth person from among the Yaran to be released. [BWNS1238] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Court cases; BWNS
    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. 1867 Petition from Bahá'ís in Shushtar, Iran, to the U.S. Congress, An, in World Order, 37:3 (2006). A petition sent by Bahá'ís in Persia in 1867 to the US Consulate general, seeking assistance in getting Baha'u'llah released from imposed exile. Includes introduction, prepared on behalf of the US NSA. [about]
    2. Activities in Iran in the 1960s: Documents from the US government, in Foreign Relations of the United States 1964-1968, Volume XXII: Iran (1964). State Dept., CIA, and Defense documents regarding activities in Iran in the 1960s. [about]
    3. 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]
    4. Anti-Bahá'í Society, The, by Mehdi Abedi and Michael M.J. Fischer, in Debating Muslims: Cultural Dialogues in Postmodernity and Tradition (1990). Autobiographical stories of Abedi and his involvement in opposition to the Baha'i Faith in Iran with the "Anjoman-e Zedd-e Bahá'íyat." [about]
    5. Aqasi, Haji Mirza ('Abbas Iravani), by Sholeh A. Quinn, in The Bahá'í Encyclopedia (2009). On the prime minister of Iran under Muhammad Shah Qajar from 1835 to 1848, regarded by Bahá’ís as the Antichrist of the Bábí dispensation. [about]
    6. 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]
    7. Babi and Bahá'í community of Iran, The: A case of 'suspended genocide'?, by Moojan Momen, in Journal of Genocide Research, 7:2 (2005). A description of the four phases of the persecutions that the Babis and Baha’is in Iran have suffered (the Babis, the early Baha'is, during the Pahlavi dynasty, and following the 1979 Islamic revolution) and how they fit in with categories of genocide. [about]
    8. Babi Uprising in Zanjan, The, by John Walbridge, in Iranian Studies, 29:3-4 (1996). [about]
    9. Babi-State Conflicts of 1848-1853, The, by Siyamak Zabihi-Moghaddam (2003). Overview of four conflicts between the Babis and the Qajar state: one at Shaykh Tabarsi in Mazandaran (1848), one in Zanjan (1850), and two in Nayriz (1850, 1853). [about]
    10. Bahá'í Question, The: Cultural Cleansing in Iran, by Bahá'í International Community (2008). [about]
    11. 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]
    12. Bahá'ís in Iran, The: Twenty Years of Repression, by Firuz Kazemzadeh, in Social Research, 67:2 (2000). Overview of the modern persecution of Baha'is in Iran. [about]
    13. Chronicle of `Abdu'l-Ahad Zanjani: Personal Reminiscences of the Insurrection at Zanjan, by Aqa Abdu'l-Ahad Zanjani, in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 29 (1897). [about]
    14. Chronology of Persecutions of Babis and Baha'is (1998). [about]
    15. 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]
    16. Constructive Resilience: The Bahá'í Response to Oppression, by Michael Karlberg, in Peace and Change, 35:2 (2010). Example of the non-adversarial approach of the Baha'is in Iran toward social change, their collective response to oppression, and heuristic insights into the dynamics of peace. [about]
    17. Document and Narrative Sources for the History of the Battle of Zanjan, by John Walbridge, in Occasional Papers in Shaykhi, Babi and Baha'i Studies, 2:4 (1998). Analysis of Muslim and Baha'i historical texts, including Dawnbreakers. [about]
    18. 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]
    19. Hojjatieh (Hujjatiya), by Mahmoud Sadri, in Encyclopaedia Iranica, Volume 12 (2004). Brief excerpt, with link to article offsite. [about]
    20. 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]
    21. 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]
    22. 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]
    23. Islam: The Straight Path, by John L. Esposito (1988). Passing mention of political persecutions. [about]
    24. Kirk, Durbin Introduce Resolution Condemning Iran's Continued Persecution of Bahá'í Minority, by Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin (2013). In recognition of the five-year anniversary of imprisonment of Bahá'í leaders in Iran, senators meet with their family members and friends and introduce a joint resolution calling attention to this persecution. [about]
    25. Last Great Revolution, The: Turmoil and Transformation in Iran, by Robin Wright (2000). Mentions of the Baha'is not having political representation in Iran; brief summary of Baha'i persecutions (in footnote). [about]
    26. Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986: Third Epoch of the Formative Age, by Universal House of Justice (1996). [about]
    27. Nabil's Narrative: What History has Forgotten, by Soheila Vahdati (2008). An outsider's view of how Iranian media and society have glossed over or intentionally obscured Iran's treatment of 19th-century dissidents. [about]
    28. Nature of the Persecution against the Bahá'ís in Iran, by Bahá'í International Community (2010). [about]
    29. 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]
    30. Notes on the Babi and Bahá'í Religions in Russia and its territories, by Graham Hassall, in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 5:3 (1993). Overview of the history of Babi and Baha'i communities in Russia and Russian territories. [about]
    31. Paranoid Style in Iranian Politics, The, by Ervand Abrahamian, in Khomeinism: Essays on the Islamic Republic (1993). A seminal essay which mentions contemporary Iranian attitudes toward the Baha'is. Includes three other mentions of the Baha'i Faith elsewhere in the book in which this essay was first published. [about]
    32. Persecution of the Bahá'í Community of Iran Under the Islamic Republic: Twenty Years of Intolerance, by Tahirih Tahririha-Danesh, in Converging Realities, 1:1 (2000). Description of some of the persecutions of the Baha'i community in Iran over the past twenty years. [about]
    33. Persecution of the Bahá'ís of Iran 1844-1984, by Douglas Martin, in Bahá'í Studies, 12/13 (1984). [about]
    34. Persecution of the Bahá'í Community of Iran: 1983-1986, in Bahá'í World, Vol. 19 (1983-1986) (1994). Lengthy survey of events, and life stories of participants. [about]
    35. 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]
    36. Persecutions of Babis in 1888-1891 at Isfahan and Yazd, by Various, in Materials for the Study of the Babi Religion (1918). [about]
    37. Personal Reminiscences of the Babi Insurrection at Zanjan in 1850, by E. G. Browne, in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 29 (1897). [about]
    38. Petition from the Persian Reformers (1867). A petition sent by Baha'is in Baghdad and Shushtar, Iran, in 1867 to the US Consulate general, seeking assistance in getting Baha'u'llah released from imposed exile. [about]
    39. Political Economy of Modern Iran, The: Despotism and Pseudo-Modernism 1926-1979, by Homa Katouzian (1981). Mention of Sheikh Fazlollah Noori denouncing opponents as Babis; 1-page discussion (in footnotes) of the Bab as Mahdi and the Baha'i/Azali split; anti-Baha'i demonstrations following the murder of vice-consul Imbrie; Falsafi's attacks in 1953. [about]
    40. Quiet Exodus, A, by Geoffrey Cameron, in Literary Review of Canada (2013). Recent history of immigration law and practice in Canada, and the Baha'i community's involvement in governmental change. Includes addendum from Baha'i News Canada. [about]
    41. 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]
    42. 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]
    43. Resistance, Resilience and the Role of Narrative: Lessons from the Experiences of Iranian Bahá'í Women Prisoners, by Donna Hakimian, in Enquire (Electronic Nottinghom Quarterly for Ideas, Research, and Evaluation), 3 (2009). A study of Iranian Bahá’í women who were imprisoned in Iran following the 1979 revolution. Aspects of individual resistance and resilience are explored through life history interviews. Link to article (offsite). [about]
    44. Review of secondary literature in English on recent persecutions of Bahá'ís in Iran, by Nazila Ghanea-Hercock, in Bahá'í Studies Review, 7 (1997). Issues of misinformation, perceived favoritism under the Shah's regime, charges of espionage, and theological conflicts with Islam as motives for the persecution of Baha'is. [about]
    45. Sacrificing the Innocent: Suppression of Bahá'ís of Iran in 1955, by Bahram Choubine, in Bahá'í Studies Review, 15:1 (2008). Activities of Reza Shah, Ayatollah Borujirdi, Muhammad-Taqi Falsafi, Shaykh Hossein-Ali Montazeri, and SAVAK in the mid-20th century. [about]
    46. Seizure of the Ishqabad Temple: Horace Holley Interview with State Department Officials (1939). Brief report of an interview with the secretary of the US National Spiritual Assembly on whether and why the Soviet government had appropriated the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in Ashkhabad. [about]
    47. Service, Joy and Sacrifice: An Essay on Commentaries by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, by James B. Thomas, in Lights of Irfan, Volume 5 (2004). [about]
    48. Shah Abdu'llah and the Bahá'ís of Abadeh: An account of the persecution of Bahá'ís by followers of an imaginary Imam, by Aqa Mirza Qabil Abadeh'i (2001). Account of persecutions in Abadeh, Fars province, in 1901. [about]
    49. 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]
    50. Taqiya Among Bábís and Bahá'ís, by Kamran Ekbal, in Encyclopaedia Iranica (2012). Brief excerpt, with link to article offsite. [about]
    51. Taqiyyah (Dissimulation) in the Babi and Bahá'í Religions, by Sepehr Manuchehri, in Australian Bahá'í Studies, 2 (2000). The historical application of taqiyyah and instances where Bábís cooperated with the authorities in suppression of their peers, and the attitude of government officials towards these individuals. [about]
    52. 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]
    53. 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]
    54. Violence with Impunity: Acts of aggression against Iran's Bahá'í community, by Bahá'í International Community (2013). Book-length report on the rising tide of violence directed against the Iranian Baha'i community 2005-20012, and the degree to which attackers enjoy impunity from prosecution or punishment. [about]
     
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