Archive for the ‘Jews’ Category

UK government renews call for release of detained Bahá’ís

Sunday, May 17th, 2009


The United Kingdom government has reiterated its concern for seven Bahá’í leaders imprisoned in Iran on the first anniversary of their detention.

Foreign Office Minister of State Bill Rammell MP renewed calls on behalf of the UK government for the seven to be guaranteed a fair trial.

“A year ago today, 14 May 2008, six Iranian Bahá’ís; Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli and Vahid Tizfahm were arrested,” said Mr Rammell. “Mrs Mahvash Sabet had been arrested in March of that year. The five men and two women made up an informal national committee, serving the needs of Iran’s 300,000 strong Baha’i community.”

“Despite being formally charged in February with spying for Israel, “insulting religious sanctities” and “propaganda against the Islamic Republic” – charges which could attract the death penalty – they are still awaiting trial,” said Mr Rammell.

Mr Rammell stated how the European Union has, on a number of occasions, expressed its deep concern for the wellbeing of the seven detainees, who have been denied access to legal counsel.

“I would like to reiterate these very genuine concerns today, and renew calls for the Iranian government to ensure that the lives and rights of these individuals are protected and that they are given a fair trial in accordance with international standard,” he said.

An Open Letter by Classmates of Expelled Baha’i Students from Sahand University in Tabriz:

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Article Sourced at:
نامه سرگشاده جمعی از دانشجویان سهند تبریز در حمایت از همکلاسی های بهایی خود

متاسفانه در طی سه سال اخیر شاهد تشدید نگاه تبعیض آمیز مسوولین جمهوری اسلامی به جامعه بهاییت ایران بوده ایم.

بازداشت اعضای ارشد این جامعه مذهبی در روزهای آغازین انقلاب و سی سال بی خبری از سرنوشت آنها همچنین سالها ممعانت از ورود آنان به دانشگاه ، عدم اجازه اشتغال در مناصب دولتی و فقدان امنیت آنان، بازداشت چند باره مسئولان مذهبی آنان در طی سه دهه نشان از عزم راسخ مسوولان در برخود و سرکوب این بخش از جامعه ایرانی دارد. در تکمیل این برخوردها شاهد تصفیه اندک دانشجویان بهایی از دانشگاهها به دلیل اعتقادات مذهبی خود و به قصد عقب نگه داشتن آنها از پیشرفت و همچنین ممانعت از تصدی مشاغل دولتی می باشیم که خود گواهی دیگر بر وجود روندی سیستماتیک و هدفمند در برخورد با جامعه بهایی ایران دارد.

ما جمعی از دانشجویان دانشگاه سهند تبریز علاوه بر محکوم نمودن تمامی برخوردهای فراقانونی با این جامعه مذهبی که مخالف نص صریح اصل 3 بند 3 و بند 8 و همچنین اصل 14 قانون اساسی ( تسهیل و تعمیم آموزش عالی و مشارکت عامه مردم در تعیین سرنوشت سیاسی ، اقتصادی ، اجتماعی و رعایت حقوق انسانی غیر مسلمانان ) و نیز ماده 2 بند 2 میثاق حقوق اقتصادی و فرهنگی ( عمومیت آموزش عالی ) سازمان ملل متحد می باشد ، اخراج سه تن از همکلاسیهای خود (سینا دانا ، سماء نورانی و فراز وزیرزاده) را محکوم نموده و از مسوولان مسرانه خواستار تجدید نظر در نگاه خود به این بخش از جامعه ایران می باشیم و امید داریم که در سال جدید در کنار همکلاسان بهایی خود فارغ از هر مرام و مسلکی در جهت پیشرفت و بهروزی میهن خویش گام برداریم.

Closure of a Baha’i Business in Semnan

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Read original article in Farsi:

March 17, 2009
In a highly questionable legal act, the shop of a Baha’i in Semnan was closed and sealed.

On March 10, officers of the Edareh Amaken [Buildings and Municipality] came to Mrs. Shamil Pirasteh’s store and announced that her store should be vacated in one week and then be sealed, because they had received a warning notice from the Clothing Union of Semnan stating that her store did not qualify [for selling cloths] and that her business license was terminated.

The ambiguity of the legal procedure for preventing from operation and prohibiting the means of livelihood of this Baha’i citizen rests on the fact that for the past five years she had been allowed, legally, to continue her business and no warning had ever been issued. According to industrial law, there must be a sequence of four warning letters before a business may lose its license and be forced into closure. In this case, none of these procedures were followed.

Khatami in Canberra, advocating human rights, but denies persecution of Bahá’is

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Article Source:

Israel, Iran can co-exist, says Khatami
Stephen Johnson
March 24, 2009

A former president of Iran believes the Islamic theocracy can peacefully co-exist with Israel as “brothers and sisters” and has defended his chequered record on human rights.

Dr Seyed Mohammad Khatami’s visit to Australia has attracted criticism from some in the Jewish community who have questioned his reformist credentials.

The former leader of Iran told a Canberra audience on Tuesday Iran had a history of living peacefully with its neighbours, putting him at odds with Iran’s current hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was reported in 2005 to have said he wanted Israel “wiped off the map”.

“The … Iranian nation has always looked forward to co-existing with different nations around the world,” Dr Khatami said at the Australian National University.

“But with respect to the crisis that is going on in the Middle East, the crisis should be resolved through a just approach. It requires a global wheel.

“If such solutions based on justice would be realised … to observe the right of different ethnic groups and peoples in the region … humans can live next to each other as brothers and sisters.”

On the eve of Dr Khatami’s visit, the head of the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, Colin Rubenstein, said the former Iranian leader did little to advance human rights.

“Khatami left office in 2005 having accomplished relatively little reform: pro-democracy protests were brutally suppressed under his watch, and newspapers and journals were banned,” Dr Rubenstein wrote in a newspaper opinion article.

“He advocated the death penalty for homosexuals, continued the punishment of stoning for adulterers, opposed women’s rights, and repressed minority religious and ethnic groups, such as the Baha’i.”


Letter from the Baha’is in Kerman to Prosecutor General of the country Dorri Najafabadi

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

This is a letter from the Baha’is in Kerman to Prosecutor General of the country Dorri Najafabadi pointing out that the management of the affairs of the Baha’i community since the 1983 ban on Baha’i administration has been done by ad hoc groups of Baha’is under close supervision and direction of the Iranian authorities in particular its Ministry of Intelligence and therefore charges of espionage or secrecy do not hold. Please click the link below to download the letter.


Leading Indians Join the Wave of Support for Baha’is and their Rights in Iran

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

A Call to the Government of Iran:
Release Innocent Baha’i Detainees Facing Trial Immediately

We have learnt that the seven Baha’is, detained in Tehran without charges since May 2008,
are going to undergo trial at the Revolutionary Court very shortly. The Iranian Deputy
Public Prosecutor has recently announced that the seven Baha’is are accused
of “espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the
Islamic Republic. Amnesty International “considers the charges to be politically
motivated and those held to be prisoners of conscience, detained solely because
of their conscientiously held beliefs or their peaceful activities on behalf of the Baha’i community.”


Letter from expelled Bahá’i Student

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

On Tuesday 3rd March 3 Students were expelled from the University of Sahand in Tabriz for being Bahá’is.
The following is a letter from one of those students, Sina Dana.

Ayatollah Montazeri Speaks about the Mass Excecutions of 1988 in an Interview with Radio Zamaneh

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Sourced at

Ayatollah_Montazeri from radio zamaneh on Vimeo.

We Are Ashamed

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

The following is an article written and signed by a group of Iranians consisting of artists, writers, professors, poets, journalists, human rights activists and many other conscientious voices. The letter entitled “we are ashamed” is an emotional and sensitive apology for the wrongs committed against the Baha’is in Iran. The original article can be read
on the cnn website or in farsi at

Century and a half of silence towards oppression against Bahai’s is enough
by Open Letter

In the name of goodness and beauty, and in the name of humanity and liberty!

As Iranian human beings, we are ashamed for what has been perpetrated upon the Baha’is in the last century and a half in Iran.

We firmly believe that every Iranian, “without distinction of any kind, such as, race, color, sex, language, religion, politics or other opinions,” and also without regard to ethnic background, “social origin, property, birth or other status,” is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, from the very inception of the Baha’i Faith, the followers of this religion in Iran have been deprived of many provisions of human rights solely on account of their religious convictions.

According to historical documents and evidence, from the commencement of the Babi Movement followed by the appearance of the Baha’i Faith, thousands of our countrymen have been slain by the sword of bigotry and superstition only for their religious beliefs. Just in the first decades of its establishment, some twenty thousand of those who stood identified with this faith community were savagely killed throughout various regions of Iran.

We are ashamed that during that period, no voice of protest against these barbaric murders was registered;

We are ashamed that until today the voice of protest against this heinous crime has been infrequent and muted;

We are ashamed that in addition to the intense suppression of Baha’is during its formative decades, the last century also witnessed periodic episodes of persecution of this group of our countrymen, in which their homes and businesses were set on fire, and their lives, property and families were subjected to brutal persecution – but all the while, the intellectual community of Iran remained silent;

3 Year Sentence for Defending Women

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Alieh Eghdam Doust, another brave and determined individual advocating the rights of women in Iran has been sentenced to 3 years imprisonment by the Islamic courts of Iran. Ironically her surname Eghdam Doust, means one who likes to investigate. A lover of truth? She represents millions of women who daily battle for a rightful and noble place within the existing society shaped by a repressive regime.

Sadly not only has she been sentenced to 3 years and four months, but will be subjected to the further humiliation and pain of 20 lashes.

Read from original article

Highest Ranking Student Barred for Being Baha’i

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

The following is an article from Iran Press News.

[On Monday, 6 October 2008, the prestigious organization Human Rights Activists in Iran published the following letter by a Baha’i student under file number 87-1073: This letter is offered below in translation. Ahang Rabbani.]

My name is Sima Haqiqat-Muhlebani, daughter of Isma’il, and my birth certificate number is 5287, issued in Tehran. I was born in 1961. After 24 years of being barred from attending institutions of higher education in Iran and being deprived of furthering my education solely on the ground of my belief in the Baha’i Faith, I participated in the nationwide college entrance examination.

Death Penalty for apostacy: an imminent threat to religious minorities in Iran.

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

Alarm bells are ringing across the globe as a new bill proposing the death penalty for
apostacy awaits its verdict from the Iranian Parliament. If this bill does get through many religious minorities, eg Christians, Baha’is and converts could legally face the death penalty. As the Islamic republic finds yet another loophole to rob a population of its religious freedom, cries of outrage are being heard across the world, from human rights activists to political leaders. One such voice was that of The British Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, Rt Hon David Miliband, MP who has condemned this bill and stated that he deplored the way in which the Iranian Parliament is… now discussing a draft penal code that would set out a mandatory death sentence for the crime, quote unquote, of apostasy.”

Apostacy by definition means Abandonment of one’s religious faith. However this wouldn’t stop at just converts from Islam as in the example of the Baha’i community which Iran “considers to be apostates because of their claim to a religious revelation subsequent to that of the Prophet Mohammed……Since 1979, Iranian authorities have killed more than 200 Baha’i leaders, thousands have been arrested and imprisoned, and more than 10,000 have been dismissed from government and university jobs”.

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights, considers the recanting of a person’s religion a human right legally protected by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Yet Iran continues to ignore these ideals, and ultimately denying itself and its people the chance to contribute to, and experience, a more just and tolerant vision of society.

Family Home burnt to the ground in Kerman.

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

In the early hours of Friday July 18th the home of the Shakir Family, who are members of the Bahai’ community in Kerman, was burnt down in a suspected arson attack. Fortunately the family were away during the attack. Everything from furniture to possessions perished in the fire.

This family, like many in the Bahai community, are no strangers to harassment. In a recent event prior to that, whilst at a Bahai gathering, their friends noticed that the Shakirs car was set alight and tried to put it out with a fire extinguisher. They had also been on the receiving end of many threatening phone calls quite a while.

Read the article in full.


				<p class=Posted in Baha'is, Christians, Ethnic Minorities, Jews, Kurds, Other, Sunnis | 12 Comments »

Kayhan: America Wants Minorities to Leave Iran

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

Here is a report by Iran’s Kayhan about an article by Wahsington Post about efforts by the US and a US-based Jewish organization to encourage minorities to leave Iran. The report goes on to say that leaders of recognized minorities in Iran claim their co-religionists face no particular challenges in Iran but it is the US that wants them to leave the country.

واشنگتن پست: برنامه آمريكا براي خروج اقليت ها از ايران نتيجه عكس داده است

يك روزنامه آمريكايي در گزارشي با اشاره به وضعيت اقليت ها در ايران و تلاش هاي آمريكا براي كمك به خروج آن ها از كشور نوشت: سران اين اقليت ها اكنون انگيزه آمريكا را از اين كمك زير سؤال مي برند و برنامه آمريكا براي خروج اقليت ها از ايران نتيجه عكس داده است.
در شماره ديروز روزنامه واشنگتن پست با اشاره به كمك هاي مالي آمريكا در دهه هاي گذشته براي فرار اقليت هاي مذهبي از ايران آمده است: «رهبران اقليت هاي ايران انگيزه هاي آمريكا از اين كمك را زير سؤال برده اند چرا كه اين گروه هاي مذهبي كه هزاران سال در ايران دوام داشته اند اكنون به خاطر اين مهاجرت ها شاهد سرعت گرفتن روند تحليل خوداند.»
اين روزنامه با اشاره به سابقه اقدام دولت آمريكا در اواخر دهه 1980 براي تسهيل پناهندگي برخي از اتباع اتحاد جماهير شوروي يا هندوچيني ها به آمريكا نوشت: «اما اكنون رهبران غيرمسلمان گروه هاي اقليت مذهبي ايران تأكيد دارد حكومت تحت امر روحانيون شيعه در تهران با آنها بدرفتاري نمي كند.»
از سويي ديگر برخي از سران مسيحي و زرتشتي اين گونه عنوان مي كنند كه علت ترك اعضاي اين اقليت هاي مذهبي اين است كه از مزاياي برنامه اقامت قانوني در آمريكا بهره مند شوند.
«يوناتان بتكوليا» يكي از سران مسيحيان آشوري در ايران و از اعضاي مجلس ايران، آمريكارا مسئول تحليل در جامعه اقليت هاي ايران مي داند و تأكيد مي كند: «مسيحيان و زرتشتي ها به خاطر بيكاري و اقتصاد نامناسب كشور را ترك مي كنند اما اين مشكلاتي است كه همه ايراني ها با آن مواجه اند. تنها هدف آمريكايي ها اين است كه اين ايده را بقبولانند كه ايران با اقليت هاي خود بدرفتاري مي كند.»
به نوشته واشنگتن پست، برنامه كمك به اقليت ها با هماهنگي گروهي با نام «هياس» (HIAS) كه يك گروه كمك به مهاجرين يهودي مستقر در نيويورك است، صورت مي گيرد.
بنابراين گزارش، اين مركز از ديرباز به امر اقامت يهوديان در آمريكا كمك كرده و سه ميليون و 400 هزار دلار بودجه دولتي در سال گذشته تنها براي كمك به اقليت هاي غيرمسلمان در ايران دريافت كرده است.
اين در حالي است كه يهوديان ساكن ايران عنوان كرده اند مي توانند آزادانه اعمال مذهبي خود را به جاي آورند. بيش از 25 هزار يهودي در ايران باقي مانده و سران اين جامعه مي گويند كه اين تعداد بزرگترين جامعه يهودي است كه در يك كشور خاورميانه اي به غير از اسرائيل زندگي مي كنند.
اين در حالي است كه وزارت خارجه آمريكا مدعي است دو هزار و 842 يهودي در دهه گذشته با استفاده از اين برنامه امدادي آمريكا، ايران را ترك كرده اند و در كل بيش از 18 هزار غيرمسلمان از كشورما بيرون رفته اند.

Zionist Companies?

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

Here is a clip of Alireza Maghsoud in Tehran about companies with ties to the Zionist/Jewish state of Israel, which are, according to his report, responsible for all sorts of oppression in our world, from Haifa and Las Vegas to Darfur and Beirut:

FCNN: Death Penalty for Apostates in Iran

Monday, February 25th, 2008

The Iranian parliament may mandate the death penalty for citizens who

leave Islam, a human rights group announced this week.  

 For the first time in Iranian history, a proposed penal code demands the death penalty for “apostates,” according to a February 5 statement by the Institute on Religion and Public Policy -IRPP 


“Apostasy was always illegal, but the court could hand down a jail term, hard labor or the death penalty,” said IRPP President Joseph Grieboski. “Now apostasy [would only] get the death penalty.


Iran has used the “apostasy” law to target Muslim converts to Christianity, liberal thinkers and members of Iran’s Baha’i religious minority


“This is not something new, they just want to be more harsh towards those who are leaving Islam,” an Iranian pastor told Compass.


No converts to Christianity have been convicted of “apostasy” since international pressure forced officials to drop the death sentence of Christian convert Mehdi Dibaj in 1994. But in the years following the convert’s release, Dibaj and four other Protestant pastors, both converts and those working with converts, have been brutally murdered.


The murderers of the Christians have never been brought to justice. Local believers suspect the government played a role in the killings


“They began assassinating pastors and Christian workers,” said the Iranian pastor, who requested anonymity. “Legally, they did not take them to court, but they just killed them and said that they hanged themselves and gave some other excuses. 


‘Hardship’ for Women


The penal code proposal, already approved by the Iranian cabinet a month ago, appears to have the necessary parliamentary backing to be passed, an Iranian Christian told Compass. 


Article 225 of the draft, posted on the IRPP website, stipulates two kinds of “apostasy,” “innate and parental,” both of which warrant the death penalty 


Innate “apostates” are those who grow up with at least one Muslim parent, are Muslims at the age of maturity and then later leave the faith, the article states 


“Punishment for an Innate Apostate is death,” section seven of the article stipulates 


Known as “parental apostates,” citizens who grow up in non-Muslim homes, convert to Islam as adults and then later decide to leave are to be given a chance to repent before their execution, the draft states


“… After the final sentencing for three days, he/she would be guided to the right path and encouraged to recant his/her belief,” the article stipulates. “… If he/she refused, the death penalty would be carried out


Though sections of the draft appear to indicate that both men and women can be executed for apostasy, others limit execution to males who leave Islam. Section 225-10 states that convicted female “apostates” will be imprisoned for life.


The proposed law stipulates that “hardship” will be exercised on a female “apostate,” who will be immediately released if she recants. “The condition of hardship will be determined according to the religious laws,” the draft states.


Death Penalty for Drunkard


It remains unclear how far the government will go in implementing the revised apostasy law. In recent years no Christians are known to have been convicted of apostasy


In May 2005 a former military officer and Muslim convert to Christianity was acquitted of apostasy by an Islamic court in Bandar-i Bushehr. 


“This [new penal code] might open the hands of the fanatics to do more harm,” said the Iranian pastor. “It just depends which group [in the government] has more power, the radicals or the moderates 


The new draft also extends the government’s jurisdiction to all actions taken outside of Iran, the IRPP reported. Article 112-3-1 of the draft refers to actions against “the internal and external security of the country,” but leaves the definition of “security” open to interpretation.


“Our concern lies in the fact that any movement anywhere can be tried if the government considers it being against Islam,” IRPP president Grieboski said


A number of crimes, including repeated drunkenness, rape, murder, armed robbery, drug trafficking, “apostasy,” adultery and male homosexuality are capital offenses in Iran.


Last week, a Tehran criminal court sentenced a 22-year-old man to death after he was caught a fourth time in possession of alcohol and in a state of drunkenness. 


At least 28 convicts were executed in January, the BBC reported. According to the news agency, human rights groups said that Iran carried out the death penalty on nearly 300 people last year.