- Iranian Bahai man imprisoned for marrying a Muslim girl
- May 6th, 2012
[CNN iReport, By senmcglinn] On April 19, four members of the Bahai religious minority were arrested in Qaemshahr, Iran. the day before, a young Bahai couple, Sahel Miri and Raheleh Ma`sumi had been arrested following a search of their home. It has emerged that the main charge against Mr. Miri is that he married a Muslim girl (Sahel) and caused her to change her religion. Because the accusation has been denied, the Ministry of Intelligence agents have pressured the parents of Raheleh to lay a complaint of Bahai conversion activities against their son-in-law. Raheleh, who is pregnant, has also been imprisoned. The office of the Ministry of Intelligence in Qaemshahr has prevented Raheleh being released on bail, although family members have twice offered to post the bail. The accusation is an emotionally charged one, as well as there being a law in Iran against non-Muslims men marrying Muslim women.
- Stop state-sponsored genocide and crimes against humanity
- May 6th, 2012
[www.thecommentator.com, By Wahied Wahdat-Hagh]
- Publication Review: Baha’is of Iran: Power, Prejudices and Persecutions
- April 30th, 2012
The relationship between religious majorities and minorities in the Middle East is often construed as one of domination versus powerlessness. While this may indeed be the case, to claim that this is only or always so is to give a simplified picture of a complex reality. Such a description lays emphasis on the challenges faced by the minorities, while overlooking their astonishing ability to mobilize internal and external resources to meet these challenges. Through the study of strategies of domination, resilience, and accommodation among both Muslim and non-Muslim minorities, this volume throws into relief the inherently dynamic character of a relationship which is increasingly influenced by global events and global connections. (http://www.brill.nl/religious-minorities-middle-east)
[Of particular interest to Iran Press Watch is the paper by Margit Warburg which considers the situation of the Baha'is in Iran:]
Warburg, Margit, “Baha’is of Iran: Power, Prejudices and Persecutions,” pp. 195-218, in Religious Minorities in the Middle East: Domination, Self-Empowerment, Accommodation, Edited by Anh Nga Longva and Anne Sofie Roald. Leiden, Brill Academic Publishers, 2012.
This chapter presents and analyses the position of the Bahaʾis of Iran and their relationship with Iranian society, including the State and the Iranian ulama. After the establishment of the Islamic Republic in Iran in 1979, the Bahaʾi minority has sufffered from intensifĳied persecutions, and the analysis deals primarily with these persecutions as seen in the light of the Bahaʾis’ historical relationship with the Iranian State and the ulama, respectively. The analysis includes the issue of the position of the Bahaʾi minority in Iran, the doctrinal tensions between the Bahaʾis and the ulama, and the diffferent prejudices about the Bahaʾis, which fuel the popular support to the persecutions.
- “The Expression of Self-images Through Prejudices and Persecutions: Shi’ites versus Baha’is of Iran,” p. 8, Muslim-Christian relations in Egypt today Local dynamics and foreign influences (http://www.cmi.no/file/?481)
- Baha’i, I, http://bahai-library.com/pinella_warburg_i_bahai
- Baha’i: A Religious Approach to Globalization
- Guam joins global condemnation of Iran’s human rights abuses
- April 29th, 2012
[BWNS 27 April 2012] The Senate of the western Pacific island territory of Guam has called upon the United States of America to keep up its pressure on Iran over human rights abuses.
- “Iranian Taboo” at Stanford University – Q&A
- April 29th, 2012
Questions and Answers at Stanford University in Farsi with English subtitles regarding “Iranian Taboo” documentary.
- A letter from Sama Nourani
- April 28th, 2012
[www.edu-right.net] Sama Nourani, 21 years old, was expelled from the National University of Tabriz, Iran, because he was a member of the Baha’i Faith. He merely questioned the university administrators regarding his expulsion. He was then arrested, and, in an unjust court, he was subsequently found guilty and sentenced to one year of imprisonment. He is currently incarcerated in sector 350 at Evin prison.
Sama wrote a letter to his younger brother (Alborz) after he was also expelled from the university because of his religious beliefs. The letter he wrote is as follows:
My Dear brother Alborz, I love you and I am with you all the time. The day when you came with Mom to visit me at Evin prison, Mom told me, during a few minutes of greeting, that you, my little brother, had recently been expelled from the university. I was so sad; it was as if it was the end of the world for me. I had a strange feeling I had never felt before, even when they expelled me. I was quite shocked. I stared at you, while you had a smile on your face, as if you were telling me that I was not alone, and that you also have been deprived of your rights because of your beliefs. At that point I wished that no one else would join me on this difficult path. Read Full Story
- A letter stamped by Iranian authorities in terms of how Muslims are to deal with Bahai
- April 27th, 2012
The English translation of the attached letter stamped by Khamenei’s office (Religious & Supreme Leader of Iran):
“In the name of God.
All members of the Bahai cult are guilty as being infidels & are regarded as “Najes” (an islamic term for being inherently unclean/dirty), thus people are advised to avoid proximity in food & other things because of their contagious nature AND it is paramount that the believers combat the schemes & devious nature of this misled cult.”
- “long live Iqan”
- April 13th, 2012
Iqan is also gone. Iqan Shahidi has been sent to Evin Prison. The same Evin that these days accommodates the best. And Iqan was one of our best. I know Iqan. Of course, I have not yet met Iqan face to face; I saw Iqan only once, and that was in a dream. That same night I wrote what I had seen and what I had felt on his Facebook wall. Read Full Story
- U.S. Senate Urges Iran To Release Imprisoned Baha’i Leaders
- April 6th, 2012
[radio free europe, 30 March 2012] By RFE/RL
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate has urged Iran to release jailed leaders of the Baha’i faith.
A resolution passed unanimously on March 30 calls on Tehran to free seven Baha’i leaders sentenced in 2010 to 20 years in prison on charges that included spying for Israel.
The resolution also called on U.S. President Barack Obama to sanction more Tehran officials over human rights violations, including abuses against Iran’s Baha’i community.
With some 300,000 members, it is Iran’s largest religious minority.
It faced persecution both before and after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Read Full Story
- World calls for unconditional release of Baha’i leaders and other Iranian prisoners of conscience
- April 4th, 2012
[BWNS 3 April 2012] NEW YORK — The plight of Iran’s seven imprisoned Baha’i leaders has been capturing the public’s attention in 12 of the world’s major cities, where a day of action marked the combined total of 10,000 days that the seven have so far spent in prison.
- “In Their Place”: Marking and Unmarking Shi’ism in Pahlavi Iran.
- April 2nd, 2012
Dr. Aaron Vahid Sealy, in his Ph.D. thesis, includes the case of the Baha’is in Iran. With close to 400 references to the Baha’i Faith and the Baha’is in Iran, Dr. Sealy covers many cultural, political, and religious aspects that have been played and have formed the current situation for the Baha’is in Iran. The full thesis is available form Deep Blue site, the repository at Michigan University. The abstract is reproduced below.
“IN THEIR PLACE”: MARKING AND UNMARKING SHI’ISM IN PAHLAVI IRAN
Aaron Vahid Sealy
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (History) in The University of Michigan 2011
This dissertation reevaluates early Shi’ite nationalism in Pahlavi Iran (1925-79). It asks why it is that the Shi’ite ulama were among the Shah’s most loyal supporters during the 1953 coup that restored him to power, yet a decade later clerical activists had largely abandoned royalism and a significant number had become so alienated from the regime that they espoused an early form of Shi’ite nationalism. This problem is insufficiently addressed in the existing literature, with clerical opposition in the early 1960s often explained in terms of Shi’ism’s supposedly revolutionary nature, reaction against the government’s attempt at land reform, Khomeini’s leadership, or other factors that undervalue the historical processes that led to this shift. I argue—based on previously un-explored British and American archival documents and recently available Persian primary sources—that the clerical dissent of the early 1960s was predicated on transformations that had been occurring over the preceding two decades, especially as the result of an ongoing campaign against the Baha’i minority and changes in the British and American assessment of the utility of Shi’ism in Iran. I offer a revisionist take on the institutional history of the ulama in Iran during this period by treating the oppositional clerical culture of the 1960s as a cultural artifact and exploring the ways in which it was historically produced in the two decades between the abdication of Reza Shah and Khomeini’s emergence as a leading voice of clerical opposition.
full document: pdf
- Press Release: Worldwide Action for Iran’s Baha’i Seven
- April 2nd, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
U4I media contact: Sarah Shourd, Advocate, email@example.com, (510) 473-5923
U4I media contact: Roxana Saberi, journalist, U4I advisory board member, firstname.lastname@example.org
Berlin, Germany Baha’i media contact: Alina Braml, email@example.com, +49 (0) 30 24 72 32 17
Brazil Baha’i media contact: Jordana Araújo, firstname.lastname@example.org, (+55 61) 3255 2200
London, UK Bahá’í media contact: Sam Roskams, email@example.com, +44 (0)20 7019 7780
Paris, France Baha’i media contact: Sophie Ménard, firstname.lastname@example.org, +33 6 63 55 49 14
Washington, D.C. Baha’i media contact: Nic Corbett, USBahaiMedia@usbnc.org, 202-833-8990
Worldwide Action to Free 7 Baha’i Leaders in Iran:
10,000 Days in Prison
Dozen Cities Organize Mobile Billboard Campaign Calling for Release Former American Prisoner of Conscience Sarah Shourd Joins Their Call
Berkeley, California – Sunday April 1, 2012 will mark 10,000 total days that seven leaders of the Baha’i community have spent behind bars in Iran. On this day, United4Iran and local communities are raising awareness in 12 cities across the globe through mobile billboards featuring a call to “Free Baha’i Leaders: Prisoners of Conscience in Iran.” Read Full Story
- Genocide possible in Iran
- April 2nd, 2012
Re: Attack on Iran could trigger bloodbath for Bahá’ís, March 12. I commend Senator Roméo Dallaire for his recent editorial.
His conclusion that a military strike against Iran by either the United States or Israel is likely to trigger increased persecution and possibly reprisal killings against Bahá’ís is highly credible and echoes the opinions of other experts. Read Full Story
- Summary of anti-Bahá’í activity in Iran – February 2012
- April 2nd, 2012
By SENTINEL PROJECT | Published: MARCH 18, 2012
The Sentinel Project’s research team is constantly seeking to improve the flow of information surrounding our situations of concern (SOC). After all, information is the key to predicting genocide and the more knowledge we can gather about events happening in a given SOC, the more likely that we can predict the escalation of violence and warn the people in harm’s way. Gathering information also comes with a duty to report what is happening, particularly when events indicate that the genocidal process is unfolding. Read Full Story
- U.S. Senate calls for release of religious prisoners in Iran
- April 1st, 2012
[BWNS 1 April 2012] The United States Senate has passed a resolution condemning the government of Iran for its systematic campaign of persecution of Baha’is and calling for the release of all Iranian prisoners held solely for their religious beliefs.
- Report on the status of Bahai prisoners in Iran
- April 1st, 2012
[hranews.info, 20 March 2012] The Human Rights Activists’ News Agency (HRANA) reports that, as Now Ruz approaches, 67 Bahai prisoners remain in detention in Iran. Of these, 43 are sentenced prisoners, serving a total of 260 years in prison, and 24 are in detention in the offices of the Ministry of Intelligence. Many others were in prison or detained during the course of the year, but were freed as they completed their sentences, or are free on bail pending their sentences. A number of Bahais, including Sho`aleh Ta’ef and Mehran Bandi ( شعله طائف و مهران بندی ) are in internal exile, having completed their time in prison.
The known prisoners at present are:
Tehran (Evin – for women):
1 – Fariba Kamalabadi (sentence of 20 years)فریبا کمال آبادی
2 – Mahvash Sabet (20 years) مهوش ثابت
3 – Nowshin Khadem (4 years) نوشین خادم
4 – Manijheh Nasrollahi (3 years) منیژه نصرالهی Read Full Story
- Iran’s seven Baha’i leaders: 10,000 days in prison
- March 31st, 2012
[BWNS 29 March 2012] — Sunday 1 April marks 10,000 days that Iran’s seven former Baha’i leaders have spent in prison between them – a period throughout which they have been deprived of the rights accorded to prisoners under Iran’s own laws and regulations.
- UN Human Rights Council extends mandate of Iran monitor
- March 30th, 2012
[BWNS 23 March 2012] — The United Nations Human Rights Council has voted by an overwhelming margin for a continuing investigation into human rights violations in Iran.
- Iran’s abuses of religious freedom condemned
- March 30th, 2012
[BWNS 22 March 2012] Iran remains one of the worst abusers of the right to religious freedom in the world, according to a new report.
- Scientists call for release of Baha’i educators
- March 30th, 2012
[BWNS 20 March 2012] COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND,An international body that monitors the human rights of scientists around the world, and assists those in need, is urging the Iranian authorities to free imprisoned Baha’i educators.
- Eye Opener: Reza Allamehzadeh’s documentary about Bahai persecution
- March 17th, 2012
[iranian.com, 14-Mar-2012] by Ari Siletz
On the way to viewing Reza Allamehzadeh’s documentary about Bahai persecution, the car radio program was about a 340 ton rock being dragged 60 miles to the Los Angeles County Museum of Modern Art. A surreal waste of effort, perhaps to make that very point! As it turns out, this extravagant expenditure of energy isn’t nearly as absurd as the efforts of the Islamic Republic to create terror and frustration for Iran’s Bahais. The difference is that while the artistic statement is a capricious waste, the Regime’s political statement is a malicious overexertion. There is no reason for it other than to cause suffering. The absurdity of this effort borders on the laughable. Why else would a film audience of over 400 burst into laughter as a wrinkled old Iranian villager innocently explains to the camera that she doesn’t know the way to Israel? The Bahai grandma was evicted from her own home by a gang of regime zealots, and when she asked where she should go now, they told her to go to Israel! Read Full Story
- UN monitor highlights failure of Iran’s justice system
- March 16th, 2012
[BWNS 14 March 2012] — The United Nations investigator into human rights in Iran has sharply criticized the country’s system of justice and human rights record.
- Iran’s Election Promises: Slaughter, Imprisonment, Torture, and Oppression
- March 12th, 2012
[huffingtonpost.ca, 2 Mar. 2012] Irwin Cotler, (Member of Parliament for Mount Royal, first elected in November, 1999; he is a former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (2003-2006) and is Professor of Law Emeritus at McGill University where he taught law for 30 years), in an article discussing the unfortunate character of Iran’s election, mentions the situation of the Baha’is in Iran. Below you can read the related excerpt, and form the source reference you can read the entire article.
There are other cases with a connection to Canada that deserve attention as well. Indeed, in the latest of a long series of crimes perpetrated against the Iranian Baha’i community by the Iranian regime — and which has resulted in the imprisonment of the entire Baha’i leadership — several graduates of Canadian universities have been detained and imprisoned for their involvement with the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education.
- Human Rights violations in Iran Yearly Statistical – Special Year 2011
- March 10th, 2012
[HRANA, 6 Feb. 2012] In a report by the Human Rights Activists in Iran titled “Human Rights violations in Iran Yearly Statistical — special Year 2011,” the report identifies the persecution of the Baha’is in Iran with 100 cases representing 47% of all Religion Minorities cases (see page 12 of the report).
Some extracts are reproduced below. Please see the full report here: PDF
In a prediction report, it contains Statistical Data (2010-2011) of Human Rights violations in Iran. The statistical basis of this report, that has been prepared, will provide analytical, statistical efforts of institution, and the publication of Human Rights Activists in Iran. Read Full Story
- UN: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
- March 10th, 2012
[UNHR, 6 March 2012] In its “Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran” Human Rights Council Nineteenth session included a report on the situation of the Baha’is in Iran which it recommends requires the Council’s attention. The specific section is reproduced below. The full document is available from here.
United Nations – General Assembly - A/HRC/19/66
6 March 2012
Human Rights Council Nineteenth session Agenda item 4
F. Unrecognized religious communities
59. The Special Rapporteur continues to be alarmed by communications that demonstrate the systemic and systematic persecution of members of unrecognized religious communities, particularly the Baha‟i community, in violation of international conventions. Moreover, the Government‟s tolerance of an intensive defamation campaign meant to incite discrimination and hate against Baha‟is violates its obligations as set out in article 5 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. According to one report, 440 instances of slanderous speech against Baha‟is were published or broadcasted in the past two years. One such article, posted by the Rasa news agency on 8 March 2011,41 accused the Baha‟i community of attempting to subvert Islam. Read Full Story
- Next »