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Iran: In Defence of the Bahá'í Minority

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Iran, Education, Governance, History, Human Rights, Religion

The greatest name [1]The Bahá'í minority [2] in Iran has long been under pressure, and it seems the situation has become worse. Iranian authorities recently accused [3]seven leaders of the Bahá'í faith of espionage. The Bahá'í themselves say they are being persecuted because of their religion.

A group of academics, writers, artists, journalists and Iranian activists throughout the world last month wrote [4] an open letter to the Bahá'í religious community saying: we are ashamed of a century and a half of oppression!

Persecution of the Baha'is of Iran blog has published [5] the Bahá'í International Community's letter to Iran's chief prosecutor:

“While the harassment and ill-treatment of Baha'is continued uninterrupted during this period, they have been taken to new levels of intensity in recent years as certain elements that have historically been bent on the destruction of the Baha'i community have assumed growing influence in the affairs of the country,” says the Baha'i International Community in the communication.
It notes that it was only in response to that persecution that small ad hoc groups were set up to “tend to the spiritual and social needs” of Iran's 300,000 Baha'is – and that for more than 20 years the government has worked with those structures.”

MidEast Youth [6] introduces us to a timeline [7] that documents violations perpetrated against Bahá'ís in the past 30 years, from executions, to arrests, expulsions and desecration. It's a “reminder of the heavy toll of silence in the face of grave human rights abuses.”

PejvakZedanyan shares the story [8] [fa] of a talented Bahai Student, Mr. Shayan Moghymi who was banned from university after one year of study just because of his religion.

Another young Bahá'í student who was banned from studying in university shares [9] [fa] his/her feeling about exclusion. The blogger writes:

به راستی این اقدام پایان داستان تحصیل من است ؟ یک جوان ایرانی بهائی بدون امکان ادامه تحصیل مثل هزاران جوان بهائی دیگر ؟ … چون اعتقاد من متفاوت است نمی توانم از حق ادامه تحصیل در کشور خود برخوردار شوم ؟

Is it really the end of the story of my education? Am I a young Bahá'í Iranian without opportunity to study like thousands other young Bahá'ís? … Because my belief is different, does that means I cannot continue my studies in my own country?