Situation of Iranian Bahá’ís

Situation of Baha’is in Iran

Media reports

Reports in the news media about the situation of Iranian Baha’is

The Hindu15 March 2015

Over 40 prominent citizens across India have signed an open letter asking the Iranian Government to accord equal citizenship rights to the Bahá'í community, which is the largest religious minority there.

The Daily Beast26 February 2015

Iran’s largest religious minority group is being denied access to its own future when the ayatollahs prevent Baha’is from going to school, says Rainn Wilson.

Iranwire24 February 2015

The recent sentencing of Sarang Ettehadi and his wife Nasim Ashraf clearly demonstrate that Iran’s judiciary and security forces intend to step up harassment of the country’s Baha’i minority community, says Reza Haghighat Nejad

The Canberra News5 July 2014

A woman tells The Canberra Times of her grief at the destruction of her brother's grave as part of what is understood to be earthworks for a cultural and sports center in Iran.

Agence France Presse5 May 2014

AFP story in The Global Post about the excavation of an historic Baha'i cemetery in Shiraz, Iran, by the Revolutionary Guards.

Al-Monitor21 February 2014

Recent attacks on Baha'i followers in Iran have caused concern about the lack of accountability when it comes to pursuing the perpetrators.

Religious New Service27 December 2013

An interview by Brian Pellot with Nazila Ghanea, who teaches international human rights law at the University of Oxford. Dr. Ghanea says Iran's new draft Charter of Citizen's Rights does very little in terms of actually protecting human rights and is mainly for public relations purposes. "Despite the charter being extensive, there’s no hint of it going beyond the Iranian constitution, which unfortunately contains discriminatory provisions," she said.

The Washington Post13 November 2013

An Op-Ed by Elliott Abrams, who takes note of the promises for improved human rights by newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani but says that so far this has not translated into any changes for Iranian Baha'is, who since 1979 have faced "systematic repression." He writes: "In his address to the General Assembly, Rouhani spoke of peace and democracy and said it is “vital to promote tolerance.” But his government shows Baha'is no tolerance, and he is continuing his predecessors’ pattern of preventing any kind of normal life for them."

Reuters11 November 2013

The Islamic Republic’s 34-year rule has hurt many religious and political groups in Iran, but one community has borne an especially heavy burden: the Baha’is, a religious minority viewed as heretics by some Muslims.

Le Monde27 October 2013

D'après un rapport, le discours d'ouverture du président Rohani est contredit par les faits. Seule la musique de la rengaine iranienne a changé ; les paroles, elles, restent les mêmes », résumait dernièrement un diplomate occidental, en référence à l'ouverture prônée par le président de la République islamique d'Iran, Hassan Rohani, depuis son investiture, en août. Le rapporteur spécial de l'ONU sur les droits de l'homme en Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, confirme : « La situation des droits de l'homme reste préoccupante et ne montre aucun signe d'amélioration.

The Guardian/Associated Press24 October 2013

A special UN rapporteur has condemned widespread human rights abuses in Iran...Shaheed detailed numerous allegations of abuse against religious minorities, including the jailing of 109 Baha'is...

The Washington Post27 September 2013

Reza Aslan writes in the "On Faith" blog of The Washington Post that "if President Rouhani is truly serious about repairing Iran’s image in the world and living up to his promises for greater rights, he must address the proverbial third rail in Iranian politics: the horrific human rights abuses aimed at Iran’s small yet historic Baha’i community."

Chicago Tribune2 September 2013

In Chicago, an 86-year-old Iranian Baha’i who was recently released from prison in Iran joins his family in the USA and talks about life in Iran as a persecuted minority.

The Washington Post21 August 2013

Law professor Winston Nagan takes note of a fatwa against Baha’is, issued recently by Iran’s Supreme Leader. He observes that many recent prisoners of conscience in Iran, such Abdolfattah Soltani and Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, were active in defending the rights of Iranian Baha’is, and he concludes by saying that if newly elected President Rouhani and the clerical elite leading Iran’s government “are truly concerned with the well-being of the country, they would do well to begin by granting greater freedom, including of religion.”

FMT News Malaysia21 August 2013

In a column, K.T. Maran takes note of the Los Angeles premier of The Gardener, a new film by Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, which explores the teachings of the Baha’i Faith and the power of religion. K.T. Maran notes also that Mr. Makhmalbaf recently received an award for the film in Croatia, and that he dedicated that award to “all the 130 Baha’i prisoners who are in Iran’s political prisons only because they have adopted a different religion or because they have taught Baha’i youth at their homes while the government of Iran has deprived these youth from entering Iranian universities.”