Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Baha'i Rights Day: 11 July 2009

The Muslim Network for Baha'i Rights named 11 July 2009 as the first "Baha'i Rights Day." On that day, the ad hoc group of seven Baha'is, who were attending to the minimal needs of Iran's largest religious minority, will face trial in Iran's Revolutionary Court. They were wrongly accused of a variety of false and absurd charges that include "spreading corruption on earth," punishable by death according to Iran's penal code. They have been incarcerated for over a year in Iran's notorious Evin prison without any access to legal defense. The banner accompanying this post was designed by the Muslim Network for Baha'i Rights.

On 3 July 2009, Amnesty International has demanded an "URGENT ACTION"
. calling on the Iranian authorities to release the seven members of the Baha’i minority (naming them) whom Amnesty International considers to be prisoners of conscience held because of their beliefs or peaceful activities on behalf of the Baha’i community;
. calling on them to drop the charges against the seven, which Amnesty International consider as politically motivated;
. expressing concern that if convicted of the charges they are said to be facing the seven could be sentenced to death;
. calling on the authorities to ensure that the seven are protected from torture and other ill-treatment;
. urging the authorities to ensure that the seven are given regular access to their families, lawyers of their choice and any medical treatment they may require.

Friday, July 03, 2009

The New York Times on the Baha'is of Iran

In a story published in The New York Times on 26 June 2009, and entitled "For Bahais, a Crackdown Is Old News," its author Samuel G. Freedman writes:
The Bahais have long served as the proverbial canaries in the coal mine of Iran’s theocracy. Their persecution, as documented over nearly 30 years in numerous human rights reports, has contradicted all the näively hopeful predictions that the hard-line surface of Iran obscures a deeper wellspring of moderation and tolerance.

In 1983, the Iranian government banned all official Bahai activity. Deeming the faith an apostasy, Iran’s fundamentalist Shiite government has denied Bahais higher education, confiscated Bahai property, desecrated Bahai cemeteries and refused to recognize Bahai marriages....
In order to read the entire story, please follow this link....