Search for location "Ivel"
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|2010. Jun (late)
||Homes belonging to some 50 Bahá'í families in the remote village of Ivel in northern Iran have been demolished as part of a long-running campaign to expel them from the region. The demolitions were the latest development in an ongoing, officially-sanctioned program in the area which has targeted every activity of the Bahá'ís.
Most of the Baha'i homes in Ivel have been unoccupied since their residents fled after previous incidents of violence or as a result of official displacement. In 2007, for example, six of their houses were torched. in 1983, a few years after the Iranian revolution, at least 30 families from this and neighboring villages were put on buses and expelled. Persistent government attacks on Baha'is in all the mass media – along with inaction by local officials to protect them – have continued to incite hatred against the Bahá'ís in the region and throughout Iran.
[BWNS780; BWNS782; Iran Press Watch 6202]
|Ivel; Mazandaran; Iran
|2020. 27 Jan
||The Baha’i International Community expressed its concern with the surge in persecution by the Iranian authorities against the Bahá'í community. It had the appearance of an institutional decision that impacted Bahá'ís across the country.
By restricting applicants of the new Iranian national identification card to select only one of the four recognized religions—i.e. Islam, Christianity, Judaism or Zoroastrianism—those belonging to other faiths, including Bahá'ís, were forced to either lie about their beliefs or remain deprived of the most basic civil services, such as applying for a loan, cashing a check, or buying property.
A court has ruled that all of the properties belonging to the Bahá'ís in the village of Ivel be confiscated on the basis that Bahá'ís have “a perverse ideology” and therefore have no “legitimacy in their ownership” of any property. This outrageous decision is despite the fact that Baha’is have been resident in the area and owned properties there for generations, reaching as far back as the mid 1800s.
In the previous three months alone, dozens of Bahá'ís were arrested and dozens more received religiously-motivated sentences, for a combined prison term of nearly one hundred years. Individual Bahá'ís were sentenced to upwards of ten years in prison; in yet another case the gold used by a Bahá'í in his jewelry business was called for to be confiscated.
In the previous three months, Bahá'ís also experienced multiple home raids, attacks on properties, confiscation of possessions, dismissals from employment, and continued denial of access to higher education. In one case, a Bahá'í home was entirely destroyed. In another instance, a non-Bahá'í employer was forced to provide a list of her Bahá'í employees and then to dismiss them from employment.
A relentless campaign of misinformation about the Bahá'í Faith targeting the Iranian public has continued in full force in the news and social media. Thousands of such anti-Bahá'í propaganda have circulated in 2019 alone. [BIC 27 January 2020]
See an update on the situation of the Bahá'ís in Iran from the Bahá'í International Community as of August 2020.
||Persecution, Iran; Baha'i International Community
|2020. 21 Sep
||The German news agency DW obtained a leaked document that appeared to be the minutes of a meeting that was held in the city of Sari in Iran's northern province of Mazandaran. According the document, 19 representatives of key Iranian agencies, including the intelligence services and the police, as well as state authorities responsible for business, commerce and education, gathered in the northern province of Mazandaran for a meeting of the so-called Commission for Ethnic Groups, Sects and Religions. The stated aim: "To gain control over the misguided movement of the perverse Bahá'í sect." The document confirms that the persecution was nothing less than official government policy and that there was a concerted strategy in place in which a government authority provided direction to a whole range of other agencies. When an accusation is made that the persecution of the Bahá'ís is state policy they usually sidestep the issue by saying that there are "various tendencies and groupings in Iranian society' who find the Bahá'í offensive."
For the village of Ivel, the home of one of the oldest Bahá'í communities in Iran, the persecution began in earnest in 1983 when they were first driven out when trucks and bulldozers moved in and destroyed fifty houses. They have made periodic visits to the village since that time to tend to their crops and herds. [DW 8Mar21; BIC News 10Mar21]
||Sari; Iran; Ivel; Iran'
|2020. 13 Oct
||The Mazandaran Court of Appeal, in northern Iran, validated the expropriation of 27 Baha'i farming families, settled since the 19th century in the village of Ivel. Bahá'í inhabitants had already been expropriated in 1983 and 2010. Since then, the remaining Bahá'í families had to apply for permits to use their property. land, lead their herds and collect the nuts grown in their orchards. The decision marks the end of all legal remedies and validates their final expulsion from the village. [Teller Report]
|2021. 5 Feb
||More than 40 prominent members of Canada’s legal community, including former Supreme Court judges and justice ministers, have penned an open letter to the Chief Justice of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, in order to draw attention to what they call “an alarming new chapter” in Iran’s state-sanctioned persecution of its Bahá'í religious minority.
Their letter came in response to a series of court rulings in 2020 that sanctioned the confiscation of the properties of dozens Bahá’ís in the village of Ivel in northern Iran justifying the seizure and sale of land on the grounds their religion denies them the right to own property. [Globe & Mail 8Feb21]
For a complete report see Land confiscation and mass displacement of Bahá'ís in Iran.
For the letter and the list of signatories see Open Letter to the Chief Justice of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney included his signature on this open letter. [BWNS1488]
Letter from the American Islamic Congress.
Iran Press Watch.
Open letter by Nobel Laureate Torsten Wiesel.
Statement by Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra Chair of the Virtues Ethics Foundation and one of the leading Islamic scholars in the United Kingdom.
A "Twitter Storm" was organized using #ItsTheirLand on the 22nd and 23rd of February.
The Canadian Foreign Minister, Marc Garneau, said his government was “concerned” by the ruling, urging Iran to “eliminate all forms of discrimination based on religion or belief.” The call was echoed by officials in Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom, Brazil, the United States, the European Parliament and the United Nations.
Support also came from the All India Tanzeem Faiahul Muslimeen and the all India Safi Association. [BWNS1480]
See the letter of support from South Africa's Legal Resources Centre. The LRC was established in 1979 to use the law as an instrument of justice,
challenging the legal structures of apartheid. Since its inception, the LRC has always engaged in strategic legal interventions aimed at ensuring that all persons regardless of the race, religion, nationality, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation
realise and enjoy their fundamental human rights.
Ahmed Shaheed, the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion or Belief, said he stood in solidarity with the Bahá’ís in Iran “who are facing systemic persecution [and] egregious rights violations.” [BWNS1495]
A webinar was held at the European Parliament on the situation in Ivel with participation from European Union officials and a former UN Special Rapporteur, Miloon Kothari. Additionally, the Chair of the European Parliament delegation for relations with Iran, Cornelia Ernst, called the Bahá’ís a “particularly vulnerable community” and condemned the Iranian government’s “disastrous policies towards the Bahá’ís.” [BWNS1495]
The Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights strongly condemned the continued persecution of the Bahá'í community in Iran. [Iran Press Watch]
Canadian MPs from all five political parties recorded a video calling on the Iranian authorities: “Enough is enough”. [Iran Press Watch]
||Ivel; Mazandaran; Iran
|2021. 25 Aug
||The Bahá'í International Community submitted formal letters of concern to United Nations Special Rapporteurs regarding the confiscation of properties belonging to six Bahá'ís in the province of Semnan. In the formal letters they called upon the UN and other international actors to intervene with Iran’s government to ensure that Baha’is are not dispossessed of their properties by the State.
A court notice on the Iranian judiciary website informing the property owners of the imminent seizures appeared earlier this month. The notice came after a series of raids were carried out on Bahá'í-owned properties across Iran by security forces in November 2020. A large number of property deeds belonging to individual Bahá'ís were taken during these raids—including deeds for the Semnan properties now listed for confiscation. Last year Bahá'í-owned lands in the village of Ivel, in Mazandaran Province, were also taken by the authorities.
The “charge” claimed by the court as the reason for the confiscations is that the properties belong to Bahá'í institutions. However, these institutions were banned in 1979 by the Islamic Republic, and formally dissolved in 1983. Moreover all their properties were confiscated after the Islamic Revolution; consequently, no properties currently belong to Bahá'í institutions in Iran.
Semnan has previously been used as a “laboratory” by the authorities to execute systematic campaigns of persecution against the Bahá'ís in Iran. Attacks on Bahá'ís in Semnan have been notable for their particular intensity, for the mobilization and coordination of official and unofficial elements including police, courts, local authorities and the clergy, and for persecution ranging from hate speech to economic strangulation, arrests and physical attacks. The BIC now observes this as a pattern consistent with a state-led campaign of economic persecution unfolding across Iran. [BIC New site]
||Semnan; Ivel; Iran
|2021. 16 Dec
||The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has called on the Iranian government to end its discrimination of minorities in Iran, including of the Bahá'í community. The vote confirms a Third Committee resolution passed in November. The resolution was endorsed by the General Assembly’s 76th session and introduced by Canada and 47 co-sponsors from all regions, passed by 78 votes in favour, with 31 against and 69 abstentions. [BIC News; BWNS1568; Iran Press Watch/a>]
One of the latest incidents occurred in Kata where thirteen irrigated farmland plots belonging to Bahá'ís in the village in Iran’s southwest was targeted by authorities seeking to further expropriate the assets of Baha’is in the country. The organization “Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order” – a parastatal agency controlled by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, which holds and sells assets seized from proscribed groups and individuals and has done so since the 1979 Islamic Revolution – advertised the 13 land parcels on an auction website in mid-October. Each property has been listed for sale at a price estimated to be only 15% of its fair market value. [BIC News]
Farm lands in Semnan, Roshankouh, and Ivel have also been confiscated recently. [BWNS1568]
||New York; United States; Kata; Semnan; Roshankouh; Ivel; Iran
||Persecution, Iran; United Nations; Baha'i International Community; BWNS
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