Iran’s Persecution of Baha’is Has Become More Covert

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Source: Baha’i International Community

UN Human Rights Council – 34st Session, March 2017

Agenda Item 4

GENEVA—15 March 2017

Mr. President,

For nearly four decades, the Iranian government has tried to eliminate the Baha’i community as a viable entity. In the process, it has committed large-scale human rights violations. Today, arrests, arbitrary detention, long term imprisonments, unfair or mock trials, home raids, confiscation of belongings, harassment, physical and verbal abuse and pressure to recant their faith remain the day-to-day lot of thousands of Iranian Baha’is. Moreover, a campaign of incitement to hatred has led to a rise in the number of suspicious killings of Baha’is, in which the perpetrators have yet to face justice, let alone to be condemned.

Although these archaic methods have raised the concerns and remain under the scrutiny of the international community, the Iranian government has recently stepped up its persecution of the Baha’is adding more covert and less quantifiable tactics to this already long list.

Despite all their claims to the contrary, the Iranian authorities are still barring access to higher education for Baha’i youth, ultimately depriving three generation of Baha’is of highly qualified employment. But even this does not seem to be enough; with the institutionalized denial of work in the public sector, now the government has also a systematic plan to close Bahai shops.  This plan aims at the slow suffocation of an entire community.  Do we know of any other government that plans to promote poverty amongst its own citizens?

Mr. President,

The Iranian representatives repeatedly stated that Iran is committed to respecting human rights. However, the rhetoric used outside of Iran clearly contradicts what happens inside the country. This latest desperate search for new tactics is a case in point, underscoring the effectiveness of international scrutiny and highlighting that it is an ongoing need. We thus hope that the mandate of the Special Rapporteur is renewed so that she can continue her important work.

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