Home | English | Publications | Reports | A Faith Denied: The Persecution of the Baha'is of Iran

A Faith Denied: The Persecution of the Baha'is of Iran

Ramifications of Exclusion of the Bahá’ís from the Constitution

In a 1981 report, the Bahá’í International Community highlighted the consequences of the omission of the Bahá’ís from the 1979 and the 1906 Constitutions:

1. The followers of the Bahá’í faith are deprived as Bahá’ís of any form of protection under the law, including their civil rights and liberties.

2. Deprived of constitutional safeguards, Bahá’ís are subject to discriminatory legislation, and to rules and regulations which do not affect other citizens. A great mass of this kind of legislation was enacted during the Pahlavi regime.

3. In many areas of their daily lives, and in matters related to civil rights, Bahá’ís are denied the ability to live according to the laws and teachings of their faith.152

The document goes on to specify four categories of ‘disabilities’ stemming from this omission:

1. Personal Status. Refusal to legally recognize Bahá’í marriages, led to the categorization of Bahá’í wives as mistresses and Bahá’í children as illegitimate. As a result, Bahá’ís frequently had difficulty obtaining passports and identity cards, which were denied to children based on the non-recognition of their parents’ marriage. Similar arguments were often invoked to block Bahá’í children claiming their inheritances;

2. Education. Bahá’í students could be expelled on the grounds of their religion;

3. Employment. Various measures prevented Bahá’ís from professional advancement if employed, or denial of benefits when retired. Their profession of faith could even lead to their dismissal;

4. Religious practice. Bahá’ís were not accorded freedom of expression or assembly as a religious community.153

5. Post-Revolutionary Persecution of the Bahá’ís of Iran

As clerical rule became more consolidated in post-revolutionary Iran, persecution of the Bahá’ís became more overt, more widespread and more systematic. Local clerics, through the newly reorganized Komitehs and Revolutionary Courts, began to target the Bahá’ís in their individual communities using the Revolutionary Guards to conduct interrogations and arrests, confiscate property, expel Bahá’ís from both private and public institutions, and even execute religious leaders. The IHRDC believes that the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran deliberately set in motion a plan to eliminate the Bahá’í leadership inside Iran and to suffocate the community.

5.1. Arrest, Torture, and Execution of Bahá’í Leaders

In the early 1980s the institutions of the newly formed Islamic Republic systematically targeted the leadership of the Bahá’í community. The Revolutionary Committees focused on the Bahá’ís’ Local and National Spiritual Assemblies. By 1986, over half of the Bahá’ís executed by the IRI had held a community leadership position at the time of their deaths.154 In addition, IHRDC has gathered accounts of 183 executions of Bahá’ís in non-leadership positions that occurred between May 1980 and November 1985. By 1986 the IRI had eliminated the members of three successive National Spiritual Assemblies formed in Tehran, and most of the Local Spiritual Assemblies found in major cities around the country.155

[152]BAHÁ’Í INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, THE BAHÁ’ÍS IN IRAN: A REPORT ON THE PERSECUTION OF A RELIGIOUS MINORITY 25 (1981).
[153]BAHÁ’Í INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, THE BAHÁ’ÍS IN IRAN: A REPORT ON THE PERSECUTION OF A RELIGIOUS MINORITY 26-27 (1981).
[154]See MURDER AT MYKONOS, supra note 35, at 8-9, 13, 18-19.
[155]LIFTING THE VEIL, supra note 4, at 224.

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 »
  • Email to a friend Email to a friend
  • Print version Print version
  • Plain text Plain text

Tagged as:

Baha'i, Personal Liberty, Arbitrary Detention, Illegal Search and Seizure, Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Conscience