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BIC Press Release (Sept. 11, 1980)

BIC Press Release 

GENEVA (11 September 1980) — The United Nations Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, at its thirty-third session now concluding, has expressed its “profound concern” for the safety of the Baha’is in Iran, both individually and as a community.

Mentioning specifically the recently arrested members of the National Baha’i Administrative Council, the Sub-Commission further requested the Secretary-General of the United Nations to convey this concern to the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, asking that government, which has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to grant “full protection of fundamental rights and freedoms to the Baha’i religious community in Iran”, as well as to protect “the life and liberty of the members of the Baha’i community”.

Earlier, as it discussed the matter of violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms, the Sub-Commission heard a statement given by Dr. Victor de Araujo, representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations, a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the U.N Economic and Social Council, informing that U.N body of human rights experts of the escalation of attacks against the lives and properties of the Baha’is and their communities in Iran during the last year and a half*. Dr.  de Araujo appealed to the Sub-Commission for its assistance in taking whatever action it felt appropriate in this serious situation, which, “if unchecked, could result in the elimination of the Baha’i religious minority in Iran.”

In his statement, Dr. de Araujo pointed out that the accusations being constantly levelled against the Iranian Baha’i community — of conspiring against the sovereignty of Iran, its government and religion, and of prostitution and immorality — charges which were also brought against two members of the Baha’i administrative council of Tabriz who were executed on 13 July 1980, were without any foundation. He noted that Baha’is, both individually and collectively, are enjoined to obey the laws of their respective states and the authority of the duly constituted governments under which they live, are not allowed to participate in partisan politics or to accept any political post, and are committed to the highest standards of morality and rectitude in their public and private lives. Further, Dr. de Araujo stated that Baha’is believe in the essential oneness of all great religions, including Islam, and consider these Faiths as divine in origin, honoring and revering their Founders.

*Since then, seven prominent Baha’is were executed in Yazd on 8 September 1980.



For further information contact:

Dr. Marco Kappenberger

Representative to the United Nations in Geneva

13 Dufourstrasse

3005 Berne


Mrs. M. Fatio

Alternate Representative to the United Nations in Geneva

2, rue Gaudin 

1260 Nyon

Tel: 022-61.60.18 or 025-35.24.87