[UNHR, 6 March 2012] In its “Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran” Human Rights Council Nineteenth session included a report on the situation of the Baha’is in Iran which it recommends requires the Council’s attention. The specific section is reproduced below. The full document is available from here.
United Nations – General Assembly – A/HRC/19/66
6 March 2012
Human Rights Council Nineteenth session Agenda item 4
F. Unrecognized religious communities
59. The Special Rapporteur continues to be alarmed by communications that demonstrate the systemic and systematic persecution of members of unrecognized religious communities, particularly the Baha‟i community, in violation of international conventions. Moreover, the Government‟s tolerance of an intensive defamation campaign meant to incite discrimination and hate against Baha‟is violates its obligations as set out in article 5 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. According to one report, 440 instances of slanderous speech against Baha‟is were published or broadcasted in the past two years. One such article, posted by the Rasa news agency on 8 March 2011,41 accused the Baha‟i community of attempting to subvert Islam.
60. Baha‟is continue to be arbitrarily arrested and detained for their beliefs, in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In a report submitted to the Special Rapporteur, it was alleged that 474 Baha‟is had been arrested since August 2004. Of that number, 97 were currently imprisoned (see annex, table IV); 199 had been released on bail and were awaiting trial; 26 had been released without bail; 96 had been tried and sentenced, and free pending appeal or summons to begin serving their sentences; 34 had been tried and sentenced and had completed their prison terms and/or paid a fine; 14 sentences had been overturned on appeal; and 5 Baha‟is had served their prison sentences and begun their terms of internal exile. An additional 35 arrests were reportedly made between August and November 2011.
61. Baha‟is are subjected to severe socio-economic pressure, in violation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; in some cases, they have been deprived of property, employment and education. In recent months, for example, 10 shops and a well owned by Baha‟is in two cities in Semnan Province were sealed by the authorities. Moreover, copies of several unsettling Government documents dating back to 1991 prescribe deprivation of education, the establishment of an office to counteract Baha‟i publications, the denial of “positions of influence” to them and the trades prohibited for them. One Baha‟i student reported in an interview that 800 Baha‟is were denied university admission the year that his application was denied. In addition, several Baha‟is recently arrested were affiliated with the Baha‟i Institute for Higher Education, which is a university designed to educate Iranian Baha‟is that are excluded from education.