Media Reaction

Selected media coverage from around the world in response to the Five Years Too Many campaign

Silenced in Iran: The Plight of Bahai Prisoners of Conscience
The Daily Beast – 4 June 2013
Four years after she was freed from Iranian prison, Roxana Saberi calls for her fellow prisoners be released as prisoners of conscience. They are currently serving 20-year terms simply for their religious beliefs.


Five Years Too Many – The Renewed Assault on Baha’i Leaders in Iran
The Huffington Post – 17 May 2013
“The Baha’i Faith accepts the divine origin of all of the great religions of the world, including Islam, together with Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Zoroastrianism, urges its followers to seek truth independently, has no clergy, embraces the equality of the sexes… That, in the last quarter of the 20th century, these beliefs could bring the power of the state down on an entire community and continue to do so to the present day is one of the tragedies of our time.” – Anthony Vance


Five Years Too Many
Millennial Journal –16 May 2013
“It has now been five years since Iran’s brutal, authoritarian regime imprisoned the Yaran, the seven leaders of the Baha’i community in Iran.  My hope is that with all the focus on religious liberty in the US among Catholics and the Bishops, Catholics will come together with others in the global community who believe in human dignity and human rights to stand up and bear witness to the extraordinary evil and injustice being perpetrated by the Iranian regime and actively pressure the regime to allow members of the Baha’i faith to freely and safely practice their religion.” –By Robert Christian


Imprisoned for faith. The ‘shocking’ fate of Iran’s Bahá’ís
The Times, Article of Faith blog – 15 May 2013
“Iran’s treatment of the Bahá’í community is “truly shocking” and described it as a matter of concern for all faiths, according to the Church of England’s leading advisor on foreign policy. Dr Charles Reed was speaking after a delegation of faith leaders to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He called on Foreign Secretary Willam Hague to renew the government’s support for the seven imprisoned Bahá’í leaders, said the “most basic of rights” had been impaired for Iran’’s largest religious minority.” (By subscription only.)


Five Years Too Many
Azad Tribune / Article 19 
– 14 May 2013
As part of the global campaign ‘Five Years Too many’, the Iranian human rights lawyer Ms Mahnaz Parakand who represented the seven Baha’i leaders and herself fled Iran fearing execution, addressed the Law Society of England and Wales and the Bar Human Rights Committee with regard to the trial. This article is based on her presentation at the seminar.”


Iran must free the Bahá’í leaders who have been jailed for five years too many
The Guardian – 14 May 2013
“Iran’s religious minorities are arrested on fatuous charges, endure trials that violate the state’s own due process, are jailed on unproven convictions and tortured in prison.”


Advani appeals Iran to release seven jailed Bahai leaders
Business Standard (of India) – 14 May 2013
“Senior BJP leader L K Advani today appealed Iran to release seven Bahai leaders who have been sentenced 20-year jail, saying the success of democracy is in showing “tolerance to the diagonally opposite point of view.”


The anguish of separation
The Sydney Morning Herald – 12 May 2013
“My mother, who is innocent of any crime, has been held in Iranian prisons since May 14, 2008, because of her religion. She is a member of the Baha’i faith. She is serving a 20-year sentence, and this week marks the fifth year since her arrest.”


Robert Joustra: Educating the world about Iran’s persecution of the Baha’i faith
National Post – 9 May 2013
“The Iranian regime teaches that Baha’is are subhuman, irrational, illegitimate citizens and traitors. Scores have been executed after closed-door trials, banned or driven from posts in universities or government.”


Everyone talks nukes, but don’t forget about Iran’s imprisoned Baha’i leaders
The Globe and Mail – 9 May 2013
“A litmus test to judge Iran’s record has been the treatment afforded to its largest non-Muslim religious community, the Baha’is.”


Rainn Wilson has faith in life after ‘The Office’
CNN, Belief Blog – 9 May 2013
“Wilson is on the forefront of a campaign called “Five Years Too Many” that calls for the release of seven Baha’i volunteer leaders who have been imprisoned in Iran for the past five years.”


Five years on, Bahais appeal for release in Iran
AFP – 7 May 2013
“Five years after seven Bahai leaders were arrested in Iran, members of the faith are campaigning to increase attention to their plight in hopes that authorities will release them.”


Rainn Wilson’s Baha’i Background and Iran’s Prisoners of Conscience
Roll Call – 7 May 2013
“Hollywood actor Rainn Wilson, best known for bringing life to the aggravating geekery of Dwight Schrute in the NBC sitcom “The Office,” is using his celebvocat status to advocate for the release of seven religious leaders currently imprisoned in the Islamic Republic of Iran.”


Celebvocate: Rainn Wilson on imprisoned Baha’i leaders in Iran
The Washington Post, The Reliable Source Blog – 6 May 2013
What he wants: More attention to the plight of Iran’s Baha’i, the largest religious minority in that nation; they have long been persecuted by the government, prohibited from getting university degrees and often jailed. “These poor seven souls are wasting away on trumped-up charges just because they want to pray together,” he told us.”


The Fifth Anniversary of the Incarceration of Seven Baha’i Leaders in Iran
Foreign Policy Association – 6 May 2013
“…human rights groups should work towards further educating the Iranian population about the Baha’i Faith so as to counter the aggressive propaganda campaign that the Islamic Republic has instilled in the country’s schools and institutions, enforcing a fabricated and ideological view that Baha’is are heretics and members of a cult


Protesto na Praia de Copacabana pede liberdade religiosa no Irã
Jornal Do Brasil – 5 May 2013
“Seguidores da religião Bahá’i fizeram hoje (5) no Rio de Janeiro uma manifestação em defesa da liberdade religiosa no Irã e pela libertação de fiéis bahá’is presos na república islâmica. O protesto, na Praia de Copacabana, na zona sul da cidade, faz parte de uma mobilização internacional, que prevê manifestações em várias cidades do mundo nas próximas duas semanas.”


Protesto em Copacabana pede atenção aos direitos humanos no Irã
O Globo Mundo – 5 May 2013
“Cerca de 30 seguidores da religião Bahá’í e participantes de grupos ligados à defesa dos direitos humanos se reuniram nas areias de Copacabana neste domingo para protestar contra o Irã.”