Subsequent to the arrest of the 54 Baha’i youth in Shiraz who were conducting humanitarian activities, but were arrested on the false charge of “activities against the State”, on 28 May 2006, the political prisoners of Reja’i Prison (also known as Gawhar-Dasht Prison) in Karaj issued the following “proclamation in support of our Baha’i countrymen”:
In the Name of the Creator of Liberty!
The news of the arrest of 52 of our Baha’i fellow-citizens in Shiraz is indeed a source of grief for everyone who hears it.
Although the news of suppression, persecution and harassment of minorities in Iran under the rule of the akhunds [clerics] is not new, the complications for Baha’is of that area has reached a new height of difficulties. This is particularly the case since under the Islamic Republic Baha’i minorities have never been accepted as a recognized minority. From the very beginning of the revolution until the present day, the mere fact of being a Baha’i is considered a crime.
This discrimination demands the persistent attention of human rights activists, so that along with defending the rights of minorities in this country, they would exert every effort indefatigably to ensure that the Baha’is are included on the list of the recognized minorities of Iran.
We, the political prisoners of Reja’i Prison in Karaj, not only condemn this inhuman deed by the liberty-killing regime of the mullahs, but also ask that the Baha’i religion be given the status of a recognized minority group, and that their rights, just as the rights of all other religious minorities, should be respected.
Unity, Struggle and Victory!
Political Prisoners of Reja’i Prison in the town of (Gawhar-Dasht) Karaj.
[Human Rights Activists of Iran, an organization with no connection to the Baha’is of any country, posted the above proclamation on 29 May 2006 under the heading, “Support of our Baha’i countrymen” at: http://www.iran-hra.blogfa.com/post-47.aspx. This organization can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Translated by Ahang Rabbani.]