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Baha'is In Iran: The Problems Go On...and On

Discussion in 'Middle Eastern Politics' started by RonPrice, Mar 30, 2007.

  1. RonPrice

    RonPrice New Member

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    Baha'is in Iran on Edge Of Pogrom? iT HAS NOW BEEM 5 MONTHS SINCE THE FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT IN THE PRESS ON: Sun Nov 05
    __________________
    NEW YORK - In an ominous move, Iran's Ministry of Interior has ordered officials throughout the country to step up the surveillance of Iranian Bahá’ís, focusing in particular on their community activities. The Ministry has requested provincial officials to complete a detailed questionnaire about the circumstances and activities of local Bahá’ís, including their "financial status," "social interactions," and "association with foreign assemblies," among other things. The Ministry's order came in a letter dated August 19, 2006, and addressed to provincial deputies of the Department of Politics and Security in Offices of the Governors' General throughout Iran.

    The August 19 letter, which was recently obtained by the Bahá’í International Community, asks these deputies to order "relevant offices to cautiously and sensitively monitor and supervise" all Bahá’í social activities.


    The emergence of this new letter highlights the gravity of the situation facing Iranian Bahá’ísThe letter is the latest in a series of threatening documents that outline a secret national effort to identify and monitor Bahá’ís in Iran.


    "The emergence of this new letter highlights the gravity of the situation facing Iranian Bahá’ís," said Bani Dugal, the principal representative of the Bahá’í International Community to the United Nations.


    "This letter further confirms that Iran's government has targeted the Bahá’ís for covert surveillance," said Ms. Dugal. "It also reveals for the first time the type of information the government strives to collect on both individuals and the Bahá’í community as a whole - information that in most societies would be considered private and highly sensitive.


    "The letter also contains elements of misinformation. For example, the letter asks for information on the ‘socio-political activities' of Bahá’ís - even though it is well known to authorities that Bahá’ís are entirely non-political in their activities, inasmuch as the Bahá’í sacred writings stress the importance of non-involvement in politics, as well as non-violence.


    The August 19 letter follows the release earlier this year of a secret October 29, 2005 letter from the Iranian military headquarters to various Revolutionary Guard and police forces instructing them to "identify" and "monitor" Bahá’ís around the country.


    News of the October 29 letter, first publicized by Asma Jahangir, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, in March 2006, stirred alarm among international human rights groups. Ms. Jahangir herself expressed concern that "the information gained as a result of such monitoring will be used as a basis for the increased persecution of, and discrimination against, members of the Bahá’í Faith."


    Another letter, dated May 2, 2006, showed the degree to which the government has sought to implement such surveillance at the local level. That letter, from the Trades, Production, and Technical Services Society of Kermanshah to the Iranian Union of Battery Manufacturers, asked the Union to provide a list of members of "the Bahá’í sect" in their membership.

    Some observers have compared the government's effort to identify and monitor Bahá’ís to the situation facing Jews at the beginning of the Nazi era. In April, for example, the Anti-Defamation League said the orders issued in the October 29 letter were "reminiscent of the steps taken against Jews in Europe and a dangerous step toward the institution of Nuremberg-type laws."

    Throughout the country, Iranian authorities have continued to arrest and detain Bahá’ís throughout Iran in recent months, subjecting them to a "revolving door" sequence of imprisonment and release that is apparently designed to harass and oppress the Bahá’í community.

    Over the last two years, some 129 Bahá’ís have been arrested, released on bail, and are now awaiting trial throughout the country. The bail demands have been high, in most cases requiring the Bahá’ís to hand over considerable sums of money, deeds to property, business or work licenses.

    To read the English translation of the August 19, 2006 letter, please visit:
    http://www.bahai.org/persecution/iran/19-08-06.
    ______________________________________
    SOURCE: The US Bahá’í.
    ____________________________________
    POSTED AT: VARIOUS INTERNET SITES by Ron Price from 6/11/06 to 31/3/07
    __________________
    POSTER: married for 37 years, a teacher for 35 and a Baha'i for 48 years.
     
  2. Koios

    Koios New Member

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    This is horrible. I often overlook the fact that other nations have not yet integrated tolerance to all religions. On the other hand I am not sure any nation can fully integrate all religions since there is bound to be some conflict among the various religious groups--ending up indirectly but nonetheless favoring the major religions .
     
  3. RonPrice

    RonPrice New Member

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    And Yet More on the Baha'is

    ATTACKS ON IRANIAN BAHA'IS, FROM THE ELDERLY TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
    CHILDREN, CONTINUE UNABATED

    UNITED NATIONS, 7 June 2007 (BWNS) -- Reports and documents filtering
    out of Iran over the last six months indicate a widespread and
    calculated effort by the government to maintain and gradually intensify the
    persecution of Iranian Baha'is.

    The evidence tells of continued efforts by the government to identify
    and monitor Baha'is; further incidents of abuse and discrimination
    directed at Baha'i students and children; stepped-up efforts to deprive
    Baha'is of their livelihood; and ongoing attacks on the Baha'i Faith in the
    official news media.

    "The cumulative trend is one of an exceedingly ominous nature, and
    something of grave concern to Baha'is around the world," said Bani Dugal,
    the principal representative of the Baha'i International Community to
    the United Nations.

    "The considered view is that
    these recent incidents are being provoked
    and often methodically planned by the Information Ministry, in order to
    create fear, make the Baha'is physically vulnerable, and instill in
    them social and occupational insecurity," said Ms. Dugal.

    "The clear intent is to separate Iranian Baha'is from their fellow
    citizens by generating suspicion, mistrust, and even hatred so that the
    social, economic, and cultural progress of this innocent religious
    minority continues to be blocked and its community life destabilized."

    To read more about recent attacks on Iranian Baha'is, go to
    http://www.bahai.org/persecution/iran/update
     
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