Translation by Iran Press Watch
HRANA News Agency – Simultaneously with the beginning of a an emerging new wave of security and judicial pressures on Baha’i citizens in various cities of the country, the Islamic Republic of Iran Radio and Television, in a TV program that was broadcasted in the presence of program’s guests, started spreading hatred and plotting against the followers of this religion. This program, in the form of a one-sided tribune, attacked the religious beliefs of this Faith, clearly demonstrating the evidence of an obvious example of spreading fomenting hatred against the followers of a religion. This is, as yet another effort by the Iranian government to denigrate a Faith which that this regime has continuously and systematically violated the citizenship and human rights of the followers of this religion over the past four decades.
According to the HRANA news agency, the news arm of the Human Rights Activists in Iran, today, Tuesday, May 4, 2021, the Islamic Republic Radio and Television broadcasted a program focusing on “Baha’ism” in a television program aimed at spreading hatred against the Baha’i community in Iran.
The TV program “Like the Moon”, hosted by “Resalat Bouzari”, which has started to be broadcasted in recent weeks on Channel 3 of the Islamic Republic of Iran, aired a program today with the aim of spreading hatred against Baha’i citizens. The program is being aired by the Islamic Republic Broadcasting. , nNot only the do Baha’i citizens do not have a tribune to defend themselves in the official media of the country, but now, dozens of these Baha’i citizens are Imprisonedimprisoned, or detained in Iranian prisons simply for believing in thepracticing their Baha’i faith Faith and expressing their views.
This program, which demonstrates yet another example of the effort by the Iranian government that has continuously and systematically violated the citizenship and human rights of the followers of this religion, over the past four decades.
Resalat Bouzari, the host of “Like the Moon” program, whose name was recently mentioned after the release of a video of an insulting conversation with a disabled guest of this program, which caused many protests, not only hosted this program against Baha’i citizens, but, hehe also prepared another virtual dialogue centered around spreading hatred against these citizens.
Although this action by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting as a state-owned and official media outlet is not a new one against Baha’i citizens, it seems that concurrency of these actions with the increase in security and judicial pressures against these citizens in different cities of the country is no coincidence.
In recent months, there has been a new wave of widespread arrests of Baha’i citizens in various cities, including Isfahan and Shiraz. As of Sunday, April 25, at least 10 Baha’i women have been detained by security forces in Baharestan, Isfahan, and the homes of at least 28 Baha’i families in the city have been searched by security forces.
On the other hand, on April 6, at least seven Baha’is were arrested by security forces in Shiraz and their homes were searched. On April 28, two other citizens were arrested by security forces in the same city.
In another example of increasing pressure on Baha’is, in recent weeks, officials in Tehran’s Behesht-e Zahra Organization, while preventing the burial of Baha’is in the Baha’i cemetery, had told them to bury their dead at the same mass graves of those executed in the 1960s, in Khavaran.
The spreading of hatred by the security and government agencies towards Baha’i citizens is not without precedence. Among these measures is the presentation of numerous anti-Baha’i books at Tehran book fairs. The Tehran Book Fair has often become a venue for promoting violence or hate-mongering ideas against Baha’i citizens in recent years with the presence of books targeting various schools of thought. The publishers of these books mainly depend on financial support from the government or religious institutions’ budgets.
However, Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom of dissent without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers; in the form of education, practice, worship and observance, and no one has the right to insult and attack another person due to differentiation and differences of opinion.
Baha’i citizens in Iran are deprived of liberties of practicing their religious beliefs. This systematic deprivation of liberty occurs while Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights entitle any individual to freedom of religion and belief and also freedom to express it individually or collectively and in public or in private.
According to unofficial sources, there are more than 300,000 Baha’is in Iran, but Iran’s constitution only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism and does not recognize the Baha’i faith. For this reason, the rights of Baha’is in Iran have been systematically violated over past years.