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Professor Reynaldo Galindo Pohl, 1918-2012. UN Photo by Yutaka Nagata.

Professor Reynaldo Galindo Pohl, 1918-2012. UN Photo by Yutaka Nagata.
San Salvador, El Salvador—11 January 2012Reynaldo Galindo Pohl, a noted legal scholar who uncovered significant evidence of human rights violations in Iran in the late 1980s and early 1990s, passed away here last Thursday. A prominent diplomat and professor of law, Prof. Galindo Pohl was well known internationally even before his 1987 appointment as the United Nations Commission on Human Rights' Special Representative on Iran. He had served as El Salvador's UN ambassador and was also – among other posts – the director of legal affairs for the Organization of American States. But in the field of human rights, his... Read more . . .

May Akale, a representative of the Baha'i International Community, prepares to deliver an oral statement to the UN Commission on Social Development on Monday 14 February. 'Efforts to eradicate poverty must be guided by a vision of human prosperity in the fullest sense of the term – a dynamic coherence between the material and spiritual dimensions of human life,' said Ms. Akale.

Baha'i International Community Alternate Representative, Ms. May Akale, delivers oral statement at the Commission.
United Nations—11 January 2012Initiatives to address poverty should give attention to strengthening the moral, ethical and spiritual capacities of individuals and communities. That was among the messages delivered by the Baha'i International Community and other NGOs at this year's Commission for Social Development. "Efforts to eradicate poverty must be guided by a vision of human prosperity in the fullest sense of the term – a dynamic coherence between the material and spiritual dimensions of human life," said May Akale, a representative of the Baha'i International Community, in an oral statement to the Commission... Read more . . .

Dr. Abdelfattah Amor, 1943-2012. Photo: FIDH.

Dr. Abdelfattah Amor, 1943-2012. Photo: FIDH.
Subject: Human Rights
Geneva—8 January 2012The Baha'i International Community has expressed its condolences over the passing of noted human rights lawyer and Tunisian jurist Abdelfattah Amor. Professor Amor – who has died at the age of 68 after suffering a heart attack – was best known internationally for his 11 years of service as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, from 1993 to 2004. "As the Special Rapporteur, Professor Amor was among the world's foremost defenders of the right to freedom of religion or belief," said Diane Ala'i, the representative of the Baha'i International Community to the UN in... Read more . . .

UN photo

United Nations
United Nations—19 December 2011Reflecting the international community's increasing intolerance for human rights violations, the UN General Assembly today condemned Iran for oppressing its citizens. By a vote of 89 to 30 with 64 abstentions, the Assembly approved a resolution that expressed "deep concern at serious ongoing and recurring human rights violations" in the country. The vote came after Iran attempted a "no-action motion," aimed at blocking the resolution by calling for adjournment of the debate. The motion failed by a vote of 100 against, 35 in favor, with 42 abstentions. Such resolutions on human rights... Read more . . .

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The United Nations Headquarters buildings in New York City. The UN General Assembly today confirmed a resolution that expressed “deep concern at serious ongoing and recurring human rights violations” in Iran. UN Photo by Mark Garten.
Subject: Human Rights
United Nations—18 December 2011In a vote today, the United Nations once again strongly condemned Iran for failing to live up to international human rights standards. By a vote of 78 to 45, with 59 abstentions, the UN General Assembly confirmed a resolution that expressed “deep concern at serious ongoing and recurring human rights violations.” In more than two decades of such resolutions about Iran, the vote passed with one of the highest percentages ever. The resolution specifically expressed concern over Iran’s “intensified crackdown on human rights defenders and reports of excessive use of force, arbitrary... Read more . . .

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The open letter from the Baha'i International Community to the head of Iran's judiciary catalogs in detail the "many reprehensible measures" resorted to by officials during the detention, trial, sentencing and appeal, of Iran's seven Baha'i leaders. Respecting the rights of Iranian Baha'is, the letter says, would "signal a willingness to respect the rights...
New York—7 December 2011In an open letter to the head of Iran's Judiciary, the Baha'i International Community today contrasted the country's persecution of Baha'is with Iran's own call for Muslim minorities to be treated fairly in other countries. "We...request that the Baha'is in that country be granted their full rights of citizenship, in order that they may be able to fulfill their heartfelt aspiration to contribute, alongside their fellow citizens, to the advancement of their nation," says the letter. "This, indeed, is no more than what you rightfully ask for Muslim minorities who reside in other lands. Baha'is... Read more . . .

The Chilean Senate has called upon President Sebastián Piñera to "strongly condemn" Iran for its "rigorous and systematic persecution of Baha'is." In Canada, Senator Mobina Jaffer – the country's first Muslim Senator – has asked for "new steps" to "call Iran to account for its unacceptable treatment of the Baha'is."
Geneva—21 November 2011The worldwide outcry against the persecution of Iran's Baha'i community has been joined by the Chilean Senate, a Muslim Senator in Canada, and prominent Indian organizations. The latest calls – for an end to both the imprisonment of Iran's seven Baha'i leaders and the continuing detention of 12 staff and faculty members of the Baha'i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) – have coincided with the sending of a message to the Baha'is of Iran by the Universal House of Justice. The letter, written in Persian and dated 17 June, dismisses as "baseless" and "absurd" statements by the Iranian... Read more . . .

The United Nations Headquarters buildings in New York City.  UN Photo/Mark Garten.

The United Nations Headquarters buildings in New York City. UN Photo/Mark Garten.
United Nations—21 November 2011Using some of its strongest language to date, the United Nations General Assembly has roundly condemned Iran for its "serious ongoing and recurring human rights violations." By a vote of 86 to 32, with 59 abstentions, the Assembly's Third Committee today approved a six-page resolution that catalogs a wide range of abuses in Iran, including "a dramatic increase" in executions, the use of torture, the systematic targeting of human rights defenders, pervasive violence against women, and continuing discrimination against minorities, including members of the Baha'i Faith.... Read more . . .

Mr. Chong giving a talk about the importance of water as a symbol.
New York—15 November 2011Baha'i International Community’s Representative, Mr. Ming Hwee Chong, spoke (see video to right) about the role of water in human development and well-being on a panel exploring ‘Spirituality, Environmental Justice and Human Rights.’ The panel focused on the intersection of human and environmental rights, with particular attention to the issue of race. Speakers included Ms. Martha Gallahue from the National Ethical Service of the American Ethical Union,... Read more . . .

Video of Focus on Faith
New York—9 November 2011Representatives of the Baha'i International Community’s UN Office were invited to present the principles and practices of the Baha'i Faith, as part of the Faith Series Briefings, organized by the UN Department of Public Information. See video. The Faith Series briefings are a part of the weekly briefings organized by the Department of Public Information and co-sponsored by the UN Alliance of Civilizations. Baha'i Representatives, Bani Dugal and Ming Chong, joined Kenneth Bowers, Secretary of the... Read more . . .

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