Archive for April, 2009

Ziba Mir Hosseinin talks about the impact on Faith since the Islamic Revolution of Iran

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

To listen to this BBC broadcast go to

International Journalist of the Year Award goes to human rights journalist Mohammad Sadegh Kaboudvand

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009


Mohammad Sadegh Kaboudvand was awarded the International Journalist of the Year award at the The Press Gazette British Press Awards. Winning a British Press Award is seen as the crowning achievement of any journalist’s career – and just being shortlisted is to be set among the elite of the profession. International journalist of the year recognises the courage of an overseas journalist who has battled against oppression.

کبودوند “روزنامه نگار بین المللی سال ۲۰۰۹” شد

محمد صدیق کبودوند، فعال حقوق بشر و روزنامه نگار کرد ایرانی در مراسم سال ۲۰۰۹ “جوایز مطبوعات بریتانیا” به عنوان “روزنامه نگار بین المللی سال” برگزیده شد.

اعطا کنندگان این جایزه، آقای کبودوند را “روزنامه نگار و مدافع برجسته حقوق بشر” معرفی کرده اند که از طریق فعالیت های حقوق بشری و روزنامه نگاری خود در تشکیل شبکه ای مدنی از فعالان و جوانان کرد موثر بوده است.

دادگاه انقلاب ایران در تیرماه ۱۳۸۷ آقای کبودوند را بازداشت و به اتهام نشر اکاذیب به قصد تشویش اذهان عمومی از طریق تشکیل “سازمان حقوق بشر کردستان” و فعالیت در آن، به یازده سال حبس محکوم کرد.

وی در حال حاضر دوران محکومیت خود را در زندان اوین تهران می گذراند.

آقای کبودوند در نامه ای به اعطاکنندگان “جوایز مطبوعات بریتانیا” که متن آن در سایت سازمان حقوق بشر کردستان منتشر شده، ابراز امیدواری کرده است که تعلق گرفتن این جایزه به او توجه “وجدان های بیدار جهان” را به وضعیت دشوار روزنامه نگاران و نویسندگان در جوامع بسته خاورمیانه جلب کند.

او در این نامه نوشته است: “در سرزمین ما… مردم حق هیچگونه انتقاد و اعتراضی ندارند و هر انتقاد و اعتراضی با سرکوب مواجه است و منتقدان و معترضان با تعقیب و بازداشت و آزار و اذیت و مجازات روبرو می شوند”.

آقای کبودوند از زمستان سال ۱۳۸۲ نشریه “پیام مردم” را به دو زبان کردی و فارسی در تهران و استان های کردنشین ایران منتشر می کرد.

او در فروردین ماه سال ۱۳۸۴ “سازمان حقوق بشر کردستان” را تشکیل داد.

“جوایز مطبوعات بریتانیا” هر سال به بهترین های روزنامه نگاری بریتانیا اعطا می شود.

این جایزه در دهه ۱۹۷۰ میلادی پایه گذاری شده و برگزیدگان آن را هیأت داورانی متشکل از روزنامه نگاران و مدیران مطبوعات بریتانیا انتخاب می کنند.

پرناز باغبان حسنی، همسر آقای کبودوند پیشتر در گفتگو با بی بی سی فارسی از دو بار سکته همسرش در دوران بازداشت و زندان خبر داده بود.

او گفت: “آقای کبودوند روز ۲۸ دی ماه ۱۳۸۷، هجده روز پس از سکته دومش، با دستبند و به شکلی تحقیرآمیز به بیمارستان دولتی قلب در تهران منتقل شد”.

آقای کبودوند زمستان سال ۱۳۸۷ جایزه هلمن – همت سازمان دیدبان حقوق بشر را نیز به خود اختصاص داده بود.

Drawing the Circle of Unity

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Source: Kids Side by Side

Protecting human rights is essential for creating a peaceful world of coexistence and is the responsibility of all. “Draw the Circle of Unity” is a card making campaign with the purpose of uplifting those deprived of human rights, especially children, and creating awareness of their struggle. Children who are members of the Bahá’í Faith in Iran are deprived of their human rights of dignity, freedom, and security. They are denied access to education, the right to express their conscience, and assurance of safety because of their religious beliefs. All children benefit from the recognition and practice of universal human rights. Through showing solidarity with those who have been stripped of their rights, we hope to raise awareness and draw the circle of unity by creating cards of hope, love, and harmony to be published online and sent to these children
Link to this Campaign

Irish Times’ Plea to Iran over Detained Baha’is

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009


PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

AT A hearing of the Dáil subcommittee on human rights yesterday Senator David Norris said: “Everyone has the right to be an apostate, to change your faith. If convinced, there is a moral imperative to do so.” He felt it was a weakness of Islam that it tried to force people to pretend to believe in something they didn’t.

The subcommittee had been presented with a submission from representatives of the Baha’i community in Ireland on the persecution of their co-religionists in Iran. Senator Norris remembered “the awful consternation” in Ireland “when anyone turned”. It was, he said “the Irish version of apostasy. It was nasty. Why shouldn’t people turn? I fully deprecate any system which claims ‘to know’ – the Grand Ayatollah, my fella the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Pope. They don’t know. It is wrong [for them to claim so] and leads to unpleasant consequences.”

Labour TD Michael D Higgins warned against Baha’i persecution being “caught up in the sort of bellicose language aimed at Iran . . . none of which justifies its breaches of human rights.”

Brendan McNamara of the Baha’i community in Ireland said that worldwide, the faith had five million adherents. It had emerged in mid-19th century Persia, now Iran, where it has 300,000 adherents today. The Baha’is had been persecuted throughout their history in Iran, primarily because Islam saw Muhammad as the final prophet of God, he said.

More than 200 Baha’is had been executed or killed in Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution, he said, highlighting the detention of five men and two women, an informal leadership group of Baha’is in Iran, at Evin prison in Tehran since last year. Lawyers had been denied access and there was “little prospect of a fair trial in the circumstances”, he said.

The subcommittee agreed to write to the Iranian ambassador, Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Commission of Jurists and its president Mary Robinson, concerning the detained Baha’is.

Women’s Rights Activists Arbitrarily Detained, Preventing New Year Visits

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009


UPDATE: (31 March 2009) Ten of the twelve women’s rights activists detained last week as they were planning private New Year visits have been released on bail. Two of them however, Khadijeh Moghadam and Mahboubeh Karami, remain in Evin prison.

The ten activists were released after judiciary officials set bail for them in the amount of 50 million toman ($50,000) that had to be posted by a government employee as a third-party guarantee.

The authorities refused to accept bail posted by Moghadam and Karami, without explanation. Those released have to report for interrogations on Sunday, 5 April. They have been charged with “disturbing public opinion” and “disruption of public order,” and a judicial case has been initiated based on these charges.

The Campaign called on the Iranian authorities to immediately release Moghadam and Karami, noting that there is no legal justification for these detentions.

(26 March 2009) Iranian authorities should immediately release a dozen women’s rights activists detained arbitrarily in Tehran today, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said.

Security forces detained 12 members of the One Million Signatures Campaign and Mothers for Peace at a street corner as the group met to make private New Year visits to families of several prisoners of conscience. With the Persian New Year holidays underway, it is customary for families and friends to visit each other.

As of this evening, local time, all detainees have been transferred to Evin Prison. A judge named Matin Rasekh has charged them with “disturbing public opinion” and “disruption of public order.”


IMHRO condemns the execution of a Baha’i man

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009



According to the Radio France Persian service, Hushang .K was executed for having a relationship with a woman[i]. They did not provide any more detail about the case.

In Iran having a relationship with the opposite sex is forbidden and can end in the death penalty, it is called Zena (adultery) in the penal code.

IMHRO condemns the execution of Hushang .K by the Iranian government, it is clear that he was executed for just being a Baha’i.

IMHRO researcher Reza Washahi said these types of excuse for arresting and sentencing death penalty are always used against the minorities in Iran and there is a fear that the number of such cases could increase. A few years ago a brave lawyer, who had annoyed the government, was charged with possessing bottles of wine in his house and was arrested on that basis, but real story was something else.

IMHRO reminds the Iranian government that they are a signatory party of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR), The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and also the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). All these covenants clearly support the freedom of social life and also freedom of religion.


Iran is the birth place of the Baha’i religion, but the Baha’i are persecuted in Iran and their holy sites are attacked and destroyed. Many Baha’i have had to leave Iran from fear of persecution.

6 Baha’i leaders were arrested in May 2008.

The Baha’i religion is not recognised by the Iranian government and they accuse the west of inventing the Baha’i religion in Iran.

Update on two Baha’i Prisoners in Mashhad

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Iran Press News reported the following on Saturday, March 28, 2009:

Two Baha’i citizens by names of Jalayer Vahdad and Sima Eshraqi were arrested on January 26, 2009, in Mashhad and as of this writing (March 28) continue to be incarcerated in solitary confinement.
So far, the authorities have given no reason for the arrest of these individuals to their families. During this period, a period exceeding 60 days, Mr. Vahdad has not been allowed to meet with his family at all The other prisoner is Ms. Sima Eshraqi and she was allowed only a single meeting with her family on March 10. The legal case and charges against her also remain completely obscure.

Article Source: Translation by Iran Press Watch

A report about Ayatollah Boroujerdi’s last condition in Yazd prison

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Article Source:

Although the ambiguous and dubious death of some political prisoners during last weeks has made a wave of worry in public circles and world Human Rights Organizations, but the officials of the religious regime of Iran have not showed any attention to these notifications and opinion and political prisoners are still imprisoned in the medieval prisons of Islamic Republic in a disturbing condition.
On this subject, Ayatollah Boroujerdi, prisoner for conscience strongly needs urgent medical treatments and necessary remedial facilities and there is fear that if this state be continued, his fate becomes as Omid Reza Mir-Siyafi and Amir Heshmant-Saran’s. Ayatollah Boroujerdi has asked the director of Yazd central prison clinic with a letter to consider his health condition, as his last action to remove existing restrictions. As follows:

Dear Dr. Arkan, Honorable director of the clinic of Yazd central prison:

With greeting and the hope of fulfillment of your humanistic aims as a conscientious physician
I hereby inform you that I have suffered from various physical and psychological diseases during my captivity in the grasp of Islamic despots as these fierce and oppressive thugs will not be satisfied but with my death as a preacher of justice and peace , propagandist of freedom and religious leader so, I submit my medical requires to you as a theist and hospitable physician in order to if they can be found in the plundered treasury of oppressed Iran , give me who am captive in the chain of the dictators claim to religion and republicanism.


Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Article Source:

New York, Mar 30 2009 2:10PM
Greater efforts are required worldwide to end violence against women and girls, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stated, stressing that men and boys in particular must play their part.

“In too many countries, women are still not seen as equals in the eye of the law or the minds of men and boys,” Mr. Ban said in a video <““>message to the Global Symposium on Engaging Men and Boys in Gender Equality, held in Rio de Janeiro yesterday. “No country and no culture has fully escaped this prejudice.”

“Men must teach each other that real men do not violate or oppress women – and that a woman’s place is not just in the home or the field, but in schools and offices and boardrooms,” he added.

In February 2008, the Secretary-General kicked off his “UNite to End Violence against Women” campaign – a multi-year effort aimed at preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls in all parts of the world.

Stretching from 2008 to 2015, the campaign calls on governments, civil society, women’s organizations, young people, the private sector, the media and the entire UN system to work to end this global scourge.

Mr. Ban noted that violence against women is the most obvious and hateful expression of the discrimination they face. But it is not the only one. Inequality exists in the home, in schools, in the workplace and in the halls of power.

“Governments must tell other governments that institutionalized discrimination has no place in our modern world,” he stated. “Around the world we need to make a greater effort. And men and boys must play their part.

“Only by working together as men and women can we create more equal and peaceful societies,” he added. “Only by being prepared to stand up for fundamental rights can we expect to achieve lasting change.”
Mar 30 2009 2:10PM

Minoo Expelled from University in Semnan

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Article source in Farsi:

Editor’s Note: On Saturday, March 7, 2009, several Persian online journals carried this report, which appears below in translation.

On March 1, 2009, the government-run University of Semnan expelled Miss Minoo Shahriari, a student majoring in economics, on the grounds that she was a Baha’i.

In an interview with the Committee that pursues the right of Baha’is to education on behalf of Iran’s Committee for Human Rights, she described her expulsion in these terms: “I was a student in macroeconomics, and about 5 weeks had passed since our second term classes had started. Before the semester had started, I had been threatened that if I did not write one of the approved religions in the form and insisted on continuing my education, then severe consequences awaited me, including preventing me from entering university, and if I were to enter, that other students and professors would have no relations with me. They said that I would be so harassed that I would be compelled to resign from the university.

Disregarding all these threats, I was eager to attend classes and showed my eagerness.

There was no particular problem, until one day I was told that I was no longer on the class roster. Officials in charge of registration and student files swore that they had not changed my student status.

Since previously I had been threatened many times by the president of the university and his deputy, I thought that the latest tactic was to scare me and they would not follow through with their threats [and dismiss me permanently].

To pursue the matter, I went to the central office of the university, but the person in charge completely ignored me — on purpose he would not even look at me. Eventually, he only said, “You must leave the university and Semnan at once.If you have a complaint, you can register it with the judiciary in the city.”

It should be noted that recently, with much greater intensity the authorities are expelling the few Baha’i students who had been able to participate in the college entrance exam and had enrolled at universities.

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.

Persecution of Large Minority Community, the Iranian Azeris

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

This article was sourced at

By Ali M. Koknar
June 6, 2006
Recently in Iran, tens of thousands of Iranian Azeris took to the streets for several days of demonstrations touched off by the May 12 publication of a racist cartoon in the state-run Iran newspaper. (The cartoon depicted an Azeri-speaking cockroach.) Iranian security forces cracked down violently on the demonstrators, killing at least four people (Azeri nationalists claim twenty dead), injuring forty-three, and detaining hundreds of others. These developments indicate brewing discontent among Iran’s Azeri population and should be studied for their implications for U.S. and Western policy toward Tehran.

Deeper Issues at Play
The Iranian regime’s effort to put out this ethnic brushfire by closing the Tehran-based Iran newspaper and arresting its editor as well as the ethnic Azeri cartoonist quickly escalated to the usual strongarm response as the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ anti-riot units and Basij militias attacked the Azeri protesters. Iranian security forces cracked down on tens thousands of offended Azeris, who took to the streets in Tehran and in the major northwestern Iranian cities such as Tabriz, Urumieh, Ardebil, Maragheh, and Zenjan. The intelligence service launched a massive detention campaign, rounding up relatives of Azeri Turks previously jailed for Turkish nationalism.

Download full article (pdf) iranian-azeris-a-giant-minority

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.