A court in a northeastern Iran province sentenced nine Iranian Baha’is to hefty prison terms. The Birjad court in Southern ...
According to the Human Rights Activist’s website, two music institution in Shiraz that employed two Iranian Baha’is were shut down recently on orders of the Judiciary because they had hired the two women.
The institutions teach music to children. The two Baha’i women, identified as Nora Pourmoradian and Elaheh Samizadeh were detained on September 16 and were released on bail on October 10.
Other reports indicate that on November 5, the business of two other Iranian Baha’is in the southern town of Abadan was shut down on orders of judicial officials. The two men were identified as Aram Azadi and Arman Azadi. They had owned the store for around 38 years. Agents shut down the store and confiscated the two men’s business permits.
The Bahá’í Faith in Iran is the country’s second-largest religion after Islam. However the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism and does not recognize Baha’ism.
Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, Iranian Baha’is have been systematically persecuted as a matter of government policy. During the first decade of this persecution, more than 200 Iranian Baha’is were killed or executed, hundreds more were tortured or imprisoned, and tens of thousands lost jobs, access to education, and other rights – all solely because of their religious belief.
Attacks on Iranian Baha’is or Baha’i-owned properties go unprosecuted and unpunished, creating a sense of impunity for attackers. Since 2005, for example, there have been at least 52 incidents of arson against Baha’i properties, crimes for which no one has been arrested.
During the same period, at least 60 incidents of vandalism or desecration at Baha’i cemeteries have been recorded. As noted by a top UN human rights official, the government-led persecution spans “all areas of state activity, from family law provisions to schooling, education, and security.”
Most recently, the body of a Baha’i woman identified as Shamsi Aghdasi Azamian was taken out of her grave in Gilandvand, a town in Damavand, few days after she was buried in the Baha’i Golestan Javid Cemetery. Her body was thrown in the surrounding fields.
Ms. Azamian was buried in the Baha’i cemetery on October 24. Though the act of desecration was carried out by unknown persons and no one has taken responsibility, security forces had warned Baha’is in Gilandvand that they were not allowed to bury their deceased loved ones in this graveyard and had to bury them in the Tehran.
According to a close source to the family of Ms. Azamian who talked to the Human Rights Activists in Iran, after the body was found, security forces told her son that he had to transfer the body to Tehran.
“He refused because the distance between Gilanvand and Tehran was more than an hour, because according to Baha’i burial rites, the distance between the place of death and burial should be no more than an hour away,” the source said.
“Therefore, agents transferred Ms. Azamian’s body to Tehran themselves without the family’s consent”.