Translation by Iran Press Watch
Zeitoun- More than a hundred political and civil activists issued a statement condemning the “new wave of arrests against Baha’is and their deprivation of basic human and civil rights” and urged “all social and political activists” to “raise their voices more than before against these barbaric and anti-human behaviors.”
The full text of this statement, provided to Zeitoun for publication, follows.
Statement of 147 political and civil activists against the new wave of repression of Baha’is in Iran
End this historical shame!
For more than a century and a half, the Baha’is in Iran have faced systematic ideological, political, educational, and economic pressure and oppression. A brutal repression that, at times, has taken unimaginable and inhuman dimensions.
The root of this repression lies in the fanatical provocations of clerics and some religious institutions and figures, and the overt as well as clandestine cooperation and complicity of Iran’s various ruling governments in different historical periods up to today.
With the clerics coming to power, this repression has gained wider dimensions and a more inhumane intensity. Members of the Baha’i National Assembly were kidnapped and disappeared in the first months of the establishment of the Islamic Republic. The members of the subsequent Assembly were officially arrested and executed, and the subsequent Assemblies also faced heavy and long-term sentences.
The process of all-round deprivation of Baha’is from their civil rights under the religious tyranny of the governance of the Islamic jurist regime, such as civil actions like marriage registration or the right to education and employment, etc., or the desecration of deceased bodies of some Baha’is thrown in back roads, confiscating the property of poor Baha’is in villages, attacking private celebrations, and unjustified arrests with heavy judicial sentences based on fictitious and false cases, have reached their peak.
The ideological roots of these behaviors go back to the prejudices of extremist Muslim clerics and their differences with the Baha’is on the issue of Muslims believing “the Islam prophet is the last prophet.” Another issue intensifying this sensitivity and hatred is the intense propaganda launched about the creation of “the Baha’i faith at the hands of the colonials”, pushing this made-up myth into the depths of religious and cultural society. One argument is the existence of the Shrine of Baha’u’llah, the Baha’i leader, in Israel, despite his passing away and burial there in 19211, decades before the establishment of Israel.
Every citizen is responsible and accountable for their personal positive and negative behavior and actions in society, and all citizens are equal in this matter. No citizen should be punished just because of their beliefs. No citizen or minority in society should be judged, discriminated against, socially deprived, and systematically suppressed due to religious prejudices, dogmas, or political delusions.
Prejudiced judgments and cruel and inhuman treatment of a century and a half, not only by some religious institutions and radical clerics and accomplices or complicit governments but also, at times, an important part of the masses, including some intellectuals of society, due to unfair judgments and wrong, oppressive, and humiliating behaviors, have placed a heavy burden on the collective cultural, religious, and political conscience of our country. This historical shame should be compensated in action and ended.
At the moment, however, it has been years since the Iranian cultural and political society has been trying to overcome the “demonization” created by some religious institutions and fanatical clerics based on ignorance and dogma, delusion, and repression, and to change the cultural and political atmosphere of civil society in relation to Bahá’í compatriots, to be humane and based on human rights. Of course, there is still a long way to go to achieve this.
We, the signatories of this statement with various ideologies, condemn the wave of new arrests against Baha’is and their deprivation of their basic human and civil rights by the agents of ignorance, prejudice, and delusion of the Islamic jurist regime. We urge all social and political activists to raise their voices more than before against this increase in brutal and anti-human behavior.
The common desire for the end of religious rule and the separation of religion and government among the owners of different ideologies and political opinions is a fundamental and national step forward in our society; a democratic and secular government in which believers of all religions, non-believers, and owners of different intellectual and political ideologies can work together with each other and with equal rights for the all-round development of Iran and the realization of freedom, justice, and democracy and the elimination of all types of discrimination in society.
Names in alphabetical order:
Ahmad AlaviAhmad Mohammadi
Ahmadreza Karimi Hakaki
Elahe Amir Entezam
Amir Abol Hasani
Hassan Arabzadeh Hejazi
Hasan Naeb Hashemi
Hasan Yousefi Oshkuri
Davood Gholam Azad
Rahim Kazemi Seresht
Zohre Habib Mohammadi
Abdul Ali Bazargan
Ali Gholam Azad
Ali Akbar Mousavi (Khoeini)
Fariborz Mehran Adib
Farid Mehran Adib
Mohammad Abu Talebi
Mohammad Olyaei Far
Mohammad Hadi Hadi Zadeh Yazdi
Mohammad Hossein Shamsai
Mahmoud Mehran Adib
Masoud Sefri Nasab
Masoud Shab Afrooz
Nasser Shahin Par
- Baháʼu’lláh the prophet founder of the Baha’i Faith passed away in 1892 not in 1921. It was ʻAbdu’l-Bahá, the eldest son of Baháʼu’lláh and his successor who passed away in 1921.