The Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights (RWCHR) strongly condemns the continued confiscation of Baháʼí-owned property by Iranian authorities. Recent reports from the Baháʼí International Community found that groups connected to Iranian leadership are “orchestrating a rising trend of confiscations of properties belonging to Iranian Baháʼís,” including in Ivel, Semnan and Kata, among other localities. The UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief recently cited property confiscation as a dimension of “state-driven and systematic” persecution of Baháʼís in Iran.
“It has become clear that the Iranian government is determined to seize Baháʼí-owned properties across the country, leaving families internally displaced and economically impoverished. While the confiscation of Baháʼí-owned property is not new, the use of the Iranian Constitution and the Judiciary to legitimise the government’s actions is. It shows that simply being a Baháʼí is a sufficient reason to confiscate property.” – Corinne Box, Director of Government Relations for the Baháʼí Community of Canada
The confiscation of Baháʼí-owned property by Iranian authorities is a looking glass into the regime’s longstanding pattern of hate and persecution against the Baháʼí community. This persecution has continued unabated since the 1979 revolution and is accompanied by an ongoing culture of impunity, wherein no one has ever been arrested or prosecuted for such crimes. This clear repressive pattern of persecution – and the regime’s campaign of incitement to hate – poses a significant threat to the Baháʼís in Iran.
“The Iranian regime’s campaign against the Baha’i has continued unabated, including: the singling out of the Baha’i for special opprobrium and repression; the use of state media to dehumanize and demonize the Baha’i in the eyes of their fellow Iranians; the harassment of Baha’i children; the proliferation of personal and property assaults on members of the community; and the orchestration of militia and hate groups to intimidate and silence them. All of this has been accompanied by an ongoing culture of impunity, wherein no one has ever been arrested or prosecuted for such crimes.” – Professor Irwin Cotler, Founder and International Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights
The RWCHR urges all communities and countries of conscience to call for an end to the illegal confiscation of Baháʼí-owned property and the acts of hate and harm being perpetrated against the Bahá’í community by Iranian authorities. The regime must end its persecution and prosecution of the Baháʼís in Iran. We stand in solidarity with them and all those falling victims to violations of fundamental human rights in Iran.