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Community Under Siege: The Ordeal of the Baha’is of Shiraz

Community Under Siege: The Ordeal of the Baha’is of Shiraz

The sentencing of twenty-two members of the Baha'i community of Shiraz to death for refusing to recant their faith in 1983 resulted in the largest mass execution of Iranian Baha’is since the Islamic Revolution. Many other members of the community were also imprisoned and abused. The ordeal of the Baha’is of Shiraz is emblematic of the treatment of the Baha'i Faith by the Islamic authorities in Iran. This report exposes the religious of intolerance of the Islamic Republic and puts a human face on the suffering of a community still under siege today.

 

Table of Contents

1. PREFACE

2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

3. POLITICAL CONTEXT

3.1. EFFECTIVE CRIMINALIZATION OF THE BAHÁ’Í FAITH

3.2. TORTURE, EXECUTION AND FORCED DISAPPEARANCES

3.3. DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY AND DESECRATION OF RELIGIOUS SITES

3.4. ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DISCRIMINATION

3.5. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

3.6. THE RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE OF SHIRAZ

4. THE SHIRAZ TWENTY-TWO

4.1. THE OCTOBER ARRESTS

4.2. THE NOVEMBER ARRESTS

4.3. APPEALS FOR HELP

5. CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS

5.1. BAZDASHT – THE PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION
Individual Interrogations
Group Interrogations
Face-to-face interrogations
Use and threat of torture

5.2. BAZPURSI – THE JUDICIAL INVESTIGATION

5.3. THE TEHRAN DELEGATION

5.4. DADGAH – THE COURT
Recantations

5.5. KHABAR-I JUNUB ARTICLE

5.6. INTERNATIONAL PROTESTS

5.7. ISTITABIH – ‘RECANT OR DIE’

5.8. THE JUNE EXECUTIONS

6. AFTERMATH

6.1. IDENTIFYING THE BODIES

6.2. INTERNATIONAL CONDEMNATION

6.3. COVER-UP

7. CONCLUSION

8. METHODOLOGY

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