Source: Golrokh Irani
Translation by Iran Press Watch
In protest against the government’s devastating treatment of Baha’is in Iran, we are going on a three-day hunger strike for the 9th, 10th, and 11th of December 2003, and we desire the rights of the Baha’is of Iran to be recognized.
In February 2007, while seven members of Yaran Iran underwent severe interrogation over the period several months in cells 209 of Evin Prison, a letter signed by the Attorney General of Iran (Mr. Ghurban Ali Dori Najafabadi) was provided to them. The content of the letter and demands of the officials were as follows:
The Baha’i community must disband groups of Friends of Iran (Yaran-e-Iran) and Stewards (Khademin) (small groups that managed the spiritual and social affairs of hundreds of thousands of Baha’is living in Iran at the national and local levels). The government guarantees the rights of Bahá’ís, that had been taken away, would be restored upon compliance.
We, Mahvash Sabet and Fariba Kamalabadi, are two of those seven who received this letter. The seven then sent a letter to the Universal House of Justice (Bahá’í World Center), requesting the Universal House of Justice to agree to the closure of the cited institutions, in order to allow us to be in compliance with our government’s demands. The Universal House of Justice approved this request. To show good faith, we fully complied and the mechanism for the administration of Baha’i community affairs was soon ended.
It is now fifteen years later. The government not only reneged on its promise to restore the rights of Baha’i Citizens, but day by day it has increased the scope of its violation of those rights, through restrictions, deprivations, oppression and pressure, effectively depriving Baha’i compatriots of safety and security.
During this 15-years, arrests of Baha’s citizens has continued with increasing intensity; even a 90-year-old man was arrested. The houses of oppressed elderly women are raided, the property of innocent people is confiscated, villagers are driven from their homes, parents of young and helpless children are arrested at the same time and imprisoned for many years. Unfortunately, even the bodies of the dead remain in the morgue (without burial) while the survivors and those responsible for burial are thrown into prison under heavy sentences for the crime of petitioning legal authorities to obtain the usual burial permit.
According to the above examples, we, who have witnessed this promise and its violation, are protesting the government’s devastating tactics, by going on a three-day hunger strike for December 9, 10, and 11. We desire the rights of the Baha’is of Iran to be recognized.
Fariba Kamalabadi – Mahvash Thabit