Question to UN Special Rapportuer on human rights in Iran
UN Human Rights Council – 34st Session, March 2017
Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran
The Baha'i International Community welcomes your appointment as Special Rapporteur on Iran. We are of the firm opinion that scrutiny by the international community of the gross human rights violations which take place in that country is vital. When one looks at the case of the Baha'i community, the conclusion can be easily drawn that this monitoring has prevented the Iranian government to achieve its aim, which is to destroy that community as a viable entity.
Iran has been using all the tools at its disposal to persecute a segment of its own population, simply because they hold a belief different from those in power:
- Its Judiciary has been condemning Baha'is to long term imprisonments on false charges, many of which are vaguely defined as “acting against national security”. To date 90 Baha'is remain in Iranian jails.
- The Iranian Intelligence Ministry’s hand can be seen in the systematic barring of young Bahá’ís from higher education and from ensuring that young and old are not allowed to earn a decent living, excluding them from the public sector and from some positions in the private sector, revoking business licenses, confiscating farmland, sealing shops and not allowing them to receive duly earned pensions.
- The state sponsored media regularly produces films, television shows, fake documentaries and misleading news reports in which Baha'is are vilified and which arouse incitement to hatred against them.
- Many of the clerics also use their pulpits to incite hatred and urge the population to ostracize the Baha'is.
- Even the dead cannot rest in peace as Baha'i burials are prohibited and Baha'i cemeteries are bulldozed or confiscated.
Not to mention the fact that Baha'is are not entitled to the right to worship and organize themselves as a religious community.
Despite these efforts, the Baha'is remain the largest non-Muslim religious minority in the country and continue to demonstrate constructive resolve, as they work for the improvement of the society around them.
Could you please indicate your assessment of this situation and how you think the Iranian government can be convinced to abide by its international commitments?