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Search for tag "Persecution, Human rights"

from the chronology

date event locations tags see also
1983 (In the year) The persecution of the Bahá’ís of Iran continued throughout the year. [BW18:92; BW19:177–226]
  • Twenty–nine Bahá’ís were executed or otherwise killed. [BW19:232–3]
  • All Bahá'í elected and appointed institutions were banned by the government in this year; most of the members of the previous three national governing councils having successively been executed. The members of a third National Spiritual Assembly eventually all were arrested or "disappeared". In the absence of a national governing council (known as a “National Spiritual Assembly”), the ad hoc leadership group, called the “Friends in Iran,” (Yaran) was formed with the full knowledge of the government. The various governments in power in Iran since 1983 had always been aware of this group. In fact, over the years government officials have routinely had dealings with the members of the Yaran, albeit often informally. [BWNS694] iiiii
  • For pictures of the martyrs see BW18:295–305 and BW19:236–46.
  • For a list of resolutions adopted by the United Nations, regional bodies, national and provincial governments, and other actions taken, see BW18:92–6 and BW19:44–6.
  • For a list of the actions taken by the Bahá’í International Community, Bahá’í institutions and others see BW18:352–6, 424–5.
  • Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution, Human rights; Persecution, Bans; Persecution; United Nations; Baha'i International Community; Human rights; Yaran; BWNS
    1993 Jan Reynaldo Galindo Pohl, the United Nations' special representative in charge of monitoring the human rights situation in Iran, revealed a secret document written by Iran's Supreme Revolutionary Cultural Council providing evidence that the Iranian Government had formulated a plan to oppress and persecute the Bahá'í community both in Iran and abroad. [BW92–3:139; BW93–4:154; BWNS879] Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Human rights; Persecution; Human rights; United Nations
    2005 29 Oct Letter from the Iranian military headquarters to various Revolutionary Guard and police forces and security agencies instructing them to identify and monitor Bahá'ís around the country. [BWNS473]
  • A copy of the letter can be obtained from the BIC website.
  • This document was authored by Major General Seyyed Hassan Firuzabadi in his capacity as Chief of the Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Iran. His letter was addressed to a range of military and security agencies, including the Commander of the Revolutionary Guard, the Commander of Basij militia, the Commander of Law Enforcement and the Commander of the Armed Forces inter alia. The letter instructed these agencies to ‘acquire a comprehensive and complete report of all the activities of these sects (including political, economic, social and cultural) for the purpose of identifying all the individuals of these misguided sects. Therefore, we request that you convey to relevant authorities to, in a highly confidential manner, collect any and all information about the above mentioned activities of these individuals and report it to this Headquarters.’ This extended to children and students, and individual children and young people are identified by their religious beliefs and targeted for ideological harassment, exclusion from education, abuse and even physical assault on some occasions. [See: Faith and a Future]
  • Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Human rights; Persecution, Education; Persecution, Education; Persecution; Human rights; Faith and a Future (CSW)
    2006 Dec The publication of A Faith Denied: The Persecution of the Bahá'ís of Iran by the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC).
  • The document reported that the Bahá’í community of Iran were not free to practice their religion, they suffered from economic and social exclusion, and they had been subjected to executions, arbitrary arrests and the destruction of their property - all carried out with the support of national judicial, administrative and law enforcement structures. It also stated that since the election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 2005, there was evidence to suggest a new cycle of repression may have been beginning. [A Faith Denied]
  • Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Human rights; Human Rights
    2007 9 Apr In a memorandum from the office of Intelligence and National Security to the commanders of police forces of the regional provincial municipalities, instructions were given to monitor the business activities of Bahá'ís, to suppress the operations of business that would yield a high income, to prohibit businesses related to culture, advertising and commerce as well as any business related to cleanliness (tahárat) such as grocery shops and ice cream parlours and any others where the handling of food or personal care was involved. [Letter from the Public Inteligence and Security Force]
  • English translation of the letter.
  • Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Human rights; Human rights; Persecution
    2008 The arrest of the Bahá'í leadership took place in the context of a severely and rapidly escalating systemic campaign of attacks against the Bahá'í community that included the creation and circulation of lists of Bahá'ís with instructions that the activities of the members of the community be secretly monitored; dawn raids on Bahá'í homes and the confiscation of personal property; a dramatic increase over the previous two months in the number of Bahá'ís arrested; daily incitement to hatred of the Bahá'ís in all forms of government-sponsored mass media; the holding of anti-Bahá'í symposia and seminars organized by clerics and followed by orchestrated attacks on Bahá'í homes and properties in the cities and towns where such events were held; destruction of Bahá'í cemeteries throughout the country and demolition of Bahá'í holy places and shrines; acts of arson against Bahá'í homes and properties; debarring of Bahá'ís from access to higher education and, increasingly, vilification of Bahá'í children in their classrooms by their teachers; the designation of numerous occupations and businesses from which Bahá'ís were debarred; refusal to extend bank loans to Bahá'ís; sealing Bahá'í shops; refusing to issue or renew business licenses to Bahá'ís; harassment of landlords of Bahá'í business premises to get them to evict their tenants; and threats against Muslims who associated with Bahá'ís. [Iran Press Watch 1109] Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Human rights; Persecution; Human rights
    2006 Jun In a show of solidarity for the imprisoned Yaran, an open letter was sent from a number of members of the judiciary, human rights organizations and other notables in India. [Iran Press Watch 1624] Iran; India Yaran; Persecution, Human rights; Persecution, Iran; Human rights
    2009 11 May After a year in jail without formal charges the Bahá'í leaders faced an additional accusation, 'the spreading of corruption on earth,' which goes by the term 'Mofsede fel-Arz' in Persian and carries the threat of death under the penal code of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Prior to this new charge they had been accused of 'espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic Republic.' [BIC Report;Iran Press Watch 2709]
  • The anticipated sham trial of the seven Baha’is leaders provoked a strong condemnation throughout the world press. In almost every language and in every country of the world, journalists, diplomats, prominent citizens and many others denounced the intentions of the Iranian government to try these innocent citizens on baseless charges of: “espionage for Israel”, “insulting religious sanctities” and “”propaganda against the Islamic Republic.” [World Press on the Trial of the Seven Bahá'í Leaders]
  • Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human rights; Persecution, Human rights; Press (media)
    2010. 4 Sep A prominent human rights lawyer in Iran, Nasrin Sotoudeh, was detained by the authorities on charges of "acting against national security," "assembly and collusion to disrupt security," and "cooperation with the Defenders for Human Rights Center." Ms Sotoudeh has represented Iranian opposition activists and politicians, as well a prisoners sentenced to death for crimes committed when they were under the age of 18. She was taken to Tehran's Evin prison was being held in solitary confinement.

    She launched a hunger strike at the end of September to protest being denied visits and phone calls from her family. Her family convinced her to end the hunger strike on the 23rd of October. This was one of two hunger strikes she staged during her first term in prison. The other was to protest against the conditions in Evin. [Web Citation]

    In January 2011, Iranian authorities sentenced Sotoudeh to 11 years in prison, in addition to barring her from practicing law and from leaving the country for 20 years. Later that year, an appeals court reduced her sentence to six years and her practice ban to ten years in August of 2014. [Wikipedia]

    Sotoudeh was released on 18 September 2013 along with ten other political prisoners, days before an address by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to the United Nations. The Iranian authorities have given no reason for her release and no indication of whether it is unconditional. [Amnesty International]

    Tihran; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Human rights; Nasrin Sotoudeh
    2011 24 Mar The UN Human Rights Council voted to create a Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran. [Iran Press Watch 7657] Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Human rights; United Nations; UNHCR; Special Rapporteur
    2018 Feb Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), an NGO working to promote the right to freedom of religion or belief of all and raising awareness about the persecution of Christians and other religious groups around the world, published a shocking report that revealed the influence of religious persecution on religious minority children. In its Faith and a Future report, CSW focused on the situation of religious minority children in educational settings in Burma, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan. The report scrutinized three common acts of persecution in the educational setting specifically bias, discrimination and abuse.
  • In Iran, bias can be seen across various educational materials in the country. School textbooks were focused on the Shi’a Muslim perspective and were silent on any other religions. This had an adverse effect on religious minorities. Children belonging to the Bahá'í religion were denied access to schools and often access to higher education. Bahá'í children that were lucky to be enrolled in schools were not free to learn or partake in their religious belief. According to the CSW report, a memorandum from the Iran government stated that Bahá'í children ‘should be enrolled in schools which have a strong and imposing religious [Shi’a] ideology.’ The situation for children partaking in higher education is no better. According to Article 3 of the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council’s student qualification regulations (1991), students were to be expelled if they were found to be Bahá'í. Only Muslim or students belonging to recognized religions were allowed to take the national enrolment exam. The report further alleged that some Bahá'í children had been subjected to physical abuse at schools. [Iran Press Watch 18838]
  • Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Human rights; Persecution, Education; Persecution, Education; Persecution; Human rights; Faith and a Future (CSW)
    2018. 13 Jun Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested on charges of collusion and propaganda against Iran’s rulers. [Al Jazeera]

    On 29 August 2018, Sotoudeh began a hunger strike to protest her detention and government harassment of her family and friends.

    On 11 March 2019 Nasrin Sotoudeh was sentenced in two different trials to 38.5 years in prison and 148 lashes and was denied access to a copy of the verdict against her. She was only permitted to see the text of the sentence and to note the charges of which she was convicted. One of the charges against her was “membership in an illegal group”, referring to her membership of Legam, a campaign to abolish the death penalty in Iran. According to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, and given the high number of charges against her, only the most severe punishment will be enforced. However, given the high number of charges against her, it is unclear how much of the sentence she will have to serve. [Front Line Defenders]

    On 27 July 2020, her husband, Reza Khandan, reported that his wife's bank accounts had been blocked by the Tehran Prosecutor's Office. Reza Khandan believed this to be the beginning of the seizure of the family's assets.

    On 10 August 2020, Nasrin Sotoudeh began a hunger strike to protest the continued imprisonment of human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience in Iran. In a letter outlining her reasons, she highlighted that COVID-19 has only served to exacerbate the already poor conditions for prisoners in Iran. In September she was hospitalised after her physical condition worsened following weeks of hunger strike. Her strike ended in late September after 46 days.

    On October 20, Sotoudeh was transferred from Evin Prison in Tehran to Qarchak, a women’s prison outside the city that has been blacklisted under United Nations human rights sanctions.

    7 November 2020. Sotoudeh was temporarily released from prison after concerns mounted over her deteriorating health. Her temporary release came weeks after she was moved to intensive care in a hospital in Tehran following a lengthy hunger strike. [Al Jazeera]

    2 December 2020: Nasrin Sotoudeh was returned to Qarchak prison despite the fact that medical experts recommended the extension of her medical leave for a further two weeks. [Al Jazeera]

    Queen's University conferred an honorary doctorate of Law. Accepting it on her behalf was Irwin Cotler, Sotoudeh’s international legal counsel and former Minister of Justice of Canada. [Queen's Gazeette 23 January 2021]

    Tihran; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Human rights; Nasrin Sotoudeh
    2018 20 Dec The last imprisoned member of the former leadership body of the Bahá'í community in Iran was released from prison after serving a 10-year prison sentence. He was arrested on 14 May 2008 and charged with, among other false claims, espionage, propaganda against Iran, and the establishment of an illegal administration. Mr. Naeimi and the other six former members of the Yaran faced those charges more than a year after their arrest in a sham trial without any semblance of legal process. Authorities sentenced Mr. Naeimi and the other former members of the Yaran to 10 years in prison. While detained, Mr. Naeimi experienced severe health problems, often receiving inadequate treatment. Authorities made a cruel determination that the brief time Mr. Naeimi, a father of two from Tehran, spent in a hospital recovering would not be counted as part of his sentence. [BWNS1302] Tihran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Human rights; Persecution; Human rights
    2020. 28 Apr The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom is an independent, bipartisan federal government advisory entity. The U.S. Congress created the USCIRF to monitor, analyze, and report on threats to freedom of religion. In their annual report, USCIRF 2020 Annual Report (PDF) they documented a particular uptick in the persecution of Bahá'ís and of any local government officials who supported them in 2019. Iran’s government blamed Baha’is for widespread popular protests, accusing the community of collaboration with Israel and continued to promote hatred against Bahá'ís and other religious minorities on traditional and social media channels.

      More specifically the USCIRF released Iran Policy Brief: Increased Persecution of Iran’s Bahá'í Community in 2019 (PDF). Referring to the continuing violations of religious freedom by the clergy-dominated Islamic Republic government, the report urged the U.S. government to impose sanctions on government institutions and officials responsible for violating religious freedoms in Iran, to freeze their assets and to ban them from entering the United States.

    United States; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Human rights; Human rights
    2020. 1 Oct The release of the documentary film Nasrin, about the Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, in the USA. [IMDB; Wikipedia]

    The American screenwriter, director and producer Jeff Kaufman and his co-producer, Marcia S. Ross, were unable to get visas to travel to Iran themselves. They relied on their on-the-ground film crew as well as calls with Sotoudeh and her husband Khandan. The film took four years to make and is essential viewing. Everyone involved, including Sotoudeh, put themselves in jeopardy by agreeing to participate in the project, but clearly, for them, the importance of its message outweighed the risk of arrest. The project also had to forego crowdfunding or fundraising of any kind in order to keep the film secret and protect those involved.

    Sotoudeh has been called “the Nelson Mandela of Iran.” [Forbes] ,

  • The film was released for VOD on the 26th of January 2012. See an interview with the director, Jeff Kaufman and the producer, Marcia Ross in Awards Daily 26 January 2021.
  • United States; Iran Documentaries; Film; Nasrin; Nasrin Sotoudeh; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Human rights

    from the chronology of Canada

    from the main catalogue

    1. Cases of Dhabihu'llah Mahrami and Musa Talibi, The, by National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Amnesty International (1998). In June 1994 and January 1996, two Bahá'ís in Iran were arrested and later sentenced to death for the crime of apostasy from Islam. These 9 documents and articles are about their case. [about]
    2. Muhammad Musaddiq and the Bahá'ís, by Bahram Choubine (2010). Two essays: "Dr. Mohammad Mosaddegh and the Baha’is" (2009) and "Suppression of the Baha’is of Iran in 1955" (2008). [about]
    3. Report on Citizenship Law: Egypt, by Dalia Maleck (2021). Section on the Bahá'í minority and statelessness, and al-Azhar's fatwa denouncing Egyptian Bahá'ís as apostates. [about]
    4. Specter of Ideological Genocide, The: The Bahá'ís of Iran, by Friedrich W. Affolter, in War Crimes, Genocide & Crimes against Humanity, volume 1 (2005). History of the persecution and suppression of the Bahá'ís in Iran, through the lens of genocide studies. (Link to document, off-site.) [about]
    5. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Cultural Relativism and the Persecution of the Bahá'ís in Iran, The, by Cheshmak Farhoumand-Sims, in Bahá'í-Inspired Perspectives on Human Rights (2001). Are the Human Rights of the Universal Declaration universal: a comparison of Western and Islamic notions of human rights; the religious justifications provided by the Islamic regime for the persecution of the Bahá’ís in Iran. [about]
     
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