[On Thursday 29 May 2008 the organization United Republicans of Iran demanded the immediate release of the Baha’i leaders incarcerated in March and May of that year, http://www.iranrepublic.org/, and their proclamation is shared below for ease of reference. Ahang Rabbani.]
Protesting the arrest of leaders of Baha’i community in Iran
United Republicans of Iran – For a Democratic and Secular Republic
May 29, 2008
End the Persecution of Baha’is
We demand that the violation of human rights of our fellow Baha’i citizens in Iran to stop and their prerogative to exist as a religious minority enjoying equality with followers of other religious minorities to be recognized.
Seven officials of the Baha’i community have been kept detained in Iran since May 14. Six individuals were arrested on May 14, and another person has been incarcerated for the past two months. The arrests have continued in recent days. For instance three individuals have been imprisoned in the northern Iran. According to the spokesperson for the government of Islamic Republic the detainees are accused of acting against the national security of Iran. Minister of Information and Attorney General, without referring to these arrests; have charged them with serious offense. During the last thirty years, the followers of Baha’i faith in Iran have been under constant threat and persecution by the state because of their beliefs. Even the mere fact of belonging to the Baha’i faith is considered a crime in the eyes of Islamic Republic. The recent arrests demonstrate that a new round of assault is on the way against our fellow Baha’i citizens. In Islamic Republic citing a threat to the national security instead of presenting real evidence against the accused is a common practice. In the past thirty years individuals belonging to IR opposition have often been detained based on similar charges. The detainees have been subject to torture and harassment and while incarcerated, without being able to defend themselves, have been repeatedly incriminated in the media. In recent years we have witnessed incarceration of secularists and religious minorities on numerous occasions, while the charges made against the jailed individuals have never been proven in any court of law.
The recent arrests of the leaders of the Baha’i faith indicate an obvious transgression against this religious minority group and it is suggestive of a very apparent breach of their basic human rights. Freedom of religion, ideas and beliefs are the essential rights of every citizen and the government can not violate them especially because the tenets of such rights have been named in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the government of Iran has signed it.
The United Republicans of Iran strongly condemns the arrests of the leaders of the Baha’i faith and the charges made against them. We hereby demand their immediate release, cessation of their persecution and harassment, and recognition of their community as a religious minority equitable with other religious minorities in Iran.
International Committee of the
United Republicans of Iran