Arrest of leading Bahá’ís condemned


by Shorts


Iran Human Rights Documentation Center Condemns the Arrest of Leading Bahá’ís

(New Haven, May 15, 2008) – The government of Iran has arrested the entire leadership of the Bahai community in Iran in a series of dawn raids. All those detained were members of the group that coordinates the activities of the Bahá’í community in Iran in the absence of a National Spiritual Assembly.

The last National Spiritual Assembly in Iran was disbanded in 1983 in the face of a fierce state-led campaign of repression which claimed many Bahá’í lives. In the early hours of May 14, officers from the Ministry of Intelligence in Tehran raided the homes of six of the seven members of the group: Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr. Jamalu’ddin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Na’imi, Mr. Sa’id Riza’i, Mr. Bihruz Tavakkuli, and Mr. Vahid Tizfahm. All six were taken to the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran which has long been associated with widespread human rights abuses. The seventh member of the group, Mrs. Mahvash Sabit, has been in the custody of the Ministry of Intelligence since March 5, 2008. Mrs. Sabit is the Secretary of the group and had originally been summoned to answer questions apparently relating to the burial of an individual in the Bahá’í cemetery in Mashad.

The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center is gravely concerned for the safety of the detainees. This is not the first time the government of Iran has acted in such a manner. In 1980 all nine members of the Bahá’í National Spiritual Assembly in Iran were arrested by Revolutionary Guards during a meeting and detained. They were never seen again and are all presumed dead. A second National Spiritual Assembly was constituted and eight of its members were arrested and summarily executed in December 1981. A third Assembly was formed but was disbanded when the Islamic Republic criminalized Bahá’í institutions in Iran in 1983. Seven members of the third National Spiritual Assembly were hunted down and executed. Now, once again the leadership of the Bahá’í community in Iran is under threat.

The IHRDC report A Faith Denied: The Persecution of the Bahá’ís of Iran noted a resurgence of anti-Bahá’í activity in Iran since the election of President Ahamadinejad. In November of 2005, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, instructed military agencies to identify and monitor all Bahá’ís living within their areas of responsibility. In the past two years, numerous individual Bahá’ís have been arrested and widespread attacks by vigilante groups against Bahá’ís have been tolerated by the government. “The IHRDC is greatly concerned that these latest arrests signal the intention of the Islamic Republic of Iran to further escalate its persecution of this peaceful religious minority. The situation of the Bahá’í community is precarious, the IHRDC is calling on the international community to demand the release of these prisoners of conscience and shine a spotlight on one of the most egregious and neglected examples of religious persecution that can be found anywhere on the planet today,” said Tom Parker, Executive Director of the Center.


Further information about the systematic persecution of the Bahá’í community in Iran can be found in the IHRDC reports A Faith Denied: The Persecution of the Baha’is of Iran and Community under Siege: The Ordeal of the Bahá’í’s of Shiraz. Both reports are currently available in English and Farsi on IHRDC’s website at


more from Shorts

World-Wide Love-Fest!

by scb (not verified) on

I will try to speak for some non-Iranian Baha'is. Many of us feel immense sympathy for Iranians and for the beauties of Iranian culture. The extraordinary experience of finding the Baha'i Faith means we are accepted for who we are, no matter what religion we were born to, regardless of which nation gave us birth.

This is the simple, essential teaching of our Faith. We believe in the most effusive terms: the blame game is over; the world is headed for a love-fest!

A world-wide love-fest! That is why no prison can truly hold the Baha'i spirit. Baha'u'llah was so adamant for human unity that He commanded us to remove religion when it divides,(because division is not a thing of God).


Dear Tahirih you are correct I could never imagine such hatred!

by hanna (not verified) on

Dear Tahirih:

Thank you for posting the web-link Mona. It is a beautiful site, yet sad when I look at all of the photos and read the bios of these beautiful, young and innocent women. What was their crime - simply being a Bah'ai. This type of bigotry and hatred against humanity has to stop. I am concerned about all forms of discrimination, and injustice, but I could have never imagined that this is taking place in Iran. I always beleived we were above it all, and though imperfect in so many ways, I couldn't even imagine that IRI would go this far in persecuting Iranians because of their belief.

This is shameful and unacceptable! There are many of us which will raise this issue with the authorities. Your voices will not remain silent, and this story will not be forgotten. We are all one people, and what impacts one of us impacts all of us!!

May peace and justice prevail.


Dear Hanna These ignorant psychopaths are not fake!!!

by Tahirih on

See how absurd their thinking is to you that as a normal person you doubt it and say " they are doing reversed psychology" but my dear do you think this one happened for reversed psychology?




IRI should only wish that Muslims would be as descent as the

by hanna (not verified) on

Bah'ais and I am a Muslim.

I have never seen them:

1. Insult Islam, when so many Iranians born to Islam bash their religion in the most vile way; opposite the Bah'ais only speak with kindness, respect and they seem to know about the real teachings of Islam more than Muslims themselves.

2. They never put up Islam bashing articles, or videos; Muslims do.

3. They criticize the government rightfully so like the rest of us, but even then, they are far more balanced in their criticism than most Iranians, and they don't call on terrorist groups to topple the regime.

4. Despite all that IRI has done against them, descrating the graves of their dead (barbaric, and savage), banning their right to follow their peaceful religion - many have remained in Iran and have not left; even the well off Bah'ais are still living in Iran when they could come out like the rest of us.
These are highly educated people who have remained back and are helping their country! They have enough disgnity and respect that they don't hide their identities.

5. Their true love for Iran is far more pure and real than the many phony baloney Iranian Muslims that I know.

6. They don't conspire the overthrow of IRI like many Iranians (MEK, and so many other Muslim Iranians) - no and they don't work with Iran's enemies - while many Muslim Iranians do!!

7. There are many opposition group web-logs but todate I have not seen any put up by Bah'ais - they stay out of politics and only want what is rightfully their right - right of return to their homeland and right to worship their faith. The same right so many of us as well as people around the world are fighting hard for the Palestinians for God's sake!! The same right IRI screams about for the Palestinians - they should first treat their own people the same way they want Israel to treat the Palestinians.

In fact the IRI should welcome them back with the utmost respect because we have a lot of learning to do as a people, and the Bah'ais are a great example of how much we can learn to be descent, peace loving, respectful, humble human beings.

They can also teach us about the real Islam which everyone including the IRI has forgotten and are not practicing.

I am appaled, simply appaled at all that I have been reading in the past couple of days. It puts me to shame to think this is taking place in Iran and by some of you on this web-site.

You all scream about how the U.S. is treating Iran, well first take a mirror and see how you are treating Iranians yourself!

Mona 19

...O Ye Unjust Doers

by Mona 19 on



How many those who, every year, and every month, have because of you been put to death! How manifold the injustices ye have perpetrated—injustices the like of which the eye of creation hath not seen, which no chronicler hath ever recorded! How numerous the babes and sucklings who were made orphans, and the fathers who lost their sons, because of your cruelty, O ye unjust doers! How oft hath a sister pined away and mourned over her brother, and how oft hath a wife lamented after her husband and sole sustainer!....


May Allah deal with you all





The sweetest revenge

by Fred on

The sweetest and most just revenge against the Islamist Republic and its dwindling crackpot of foot soldiers and apologists is establishment of a democratically governed Iran. In that Iran of a not too distant in the future the content of character and not belief will be the yardstick. In such Iran all these revenge mongering Islamist/anti-Semites will have to crawl back into their Dark Age holes and will never again have the opportunity to ply their deadly divisive ware.   


The same mullah regime who set up the bombing

by samsam1111 on

is behind the apologists who spread occupation regime lies.they bombed their own basijii brainwashed poor kids"goosfand nazri" to look victimized. They are shameless گشتاپو علی اصغر


The Bahais can assist Iran in becoming a more noble nation

by Ali Najafi (not verified) on

All of the conspiracy about Bahais being spies is saddening and also somewhat humorous that people are foolish and sheepish enough to believe in them. To even hint that they are behind the disaster of the Shiraz mosque show how manipulative the government and religious fanatics have become in their attempt to oppress one of the few last remnants of the dignity of our country.

The Bahai religion holds a dignity, peacefulness, logic, wisdom, and integrity that would be helpful to the Iranian nation and world. (And I am including all agnostics and atheists like myself that became disillusioned by religion, but find something uniquely refreshing and insightful by Bahais).


IRI Agents

by Farzin on

I read somewhere that IR has been employing agents to spread rumors and to broadcast pro-regime propaganda in the Iranian blogs.  Perhaps we are seeing some of that here.  Maybe all these outrageous posts coming from the same person with different names like almo, zirac, and ahmad.


To: Seagull (Re: ahmada Agha ...)

by zirak on

I agree with Ahmad, Those bahai (or non-bahahi) who participated in the dirty game of US/Isreal in murdering Iranians should be hanged.




What is it with you guys - are all the draculas coming out!

by hanna (not verified) on

First we had Iran DOZD now we have Alamo and Ahmad. what is it with you people, blaming others. You know what I think, I think you are all playing a psychology game - reverse psychology.

You saw how we went after Arandoost - now that I think about it I think he or she (whatever) is one of the opposition groups; by turning the anger toward Bah'ais you make sure we also start bashing IRI - so that you all get a real kick out of it from both fronts. You guys are evil!


Ahmad agha, you have been

by Seagull (not verified) on

Ahmad agha, you have been hanging for thirty years and things keep getting worse for you. Dont you think instead of rope and hanging you should start being a little bit honest and using your senses. I doubt that you will, but hanging a few or a million innocent people is not going to do you good anymore. you know better that!


To: Almo5000: Because a few did the dirty job of US/Israel ...

by ahmad.bahai on


Because a few crazy Bahais did the dirty job of US/Israel in murdering Iranians in a mosque bobming in Shiraz, that does not make all Bahais bad.

We should hang those who murdered Iranians in that bombing. We should not wish bad for the rest of bahais.



Bahram the Iranian

special order

by Bahram the Iranian on

According to information ministry the bombing in Shiraz was specificaly ordered!!!! by who? we will know soon.


Hanging IRI Agents!

by Killjoy (not verified) on

Although I'm against capital punishment, for reasons of my own, I sometimes find myself, RELUCTANTLY, inclined to agree with those who say that, after a regime change in Iran, IRI agents should be hanged publicly!


More puny attemps at Avamfaribi!

by Seagull (not verified) on

Alamo you speak out of hate not reason and your intention is to stir more hate, well keep up cause you are doing a good job bringing it on your own i just feel for the innocent Iranians who have been paying a heavy price for the bigotry and hatemongering of a few.

1st of all as you are very well informed Bahais are porhibited from VIOLENCE an POLITICS.
Second of all the largest Bahai community is in the United States and they do things the legal way. You dont expect them to just sit, they resort to legal avenues and UN to uphold their rights. You however have your very unique way of asking for your rights!

Secondly if Bahais intended to spy they would simply call themselves moslem and spy in a much safer way like many of your brothers did. But we want to help you change you heart and character, we are interested in resurrecting you, body is not our concern.

Thirdly when i was in the service it was well known that i was a Bahai yet I was most trusted. Many of your kind would join the rank of the enemy Sadam in a heart beat.

Forthly, rotting in jail comment is uncalled for. 1.2 billion Moslims of which a tiny tiny number is like you shia, firmly believe that you will rot in hell.
Will you rot in hell? I dont know, you probobly know better. Get rid of your hate then you would be a much better moslem and a contributor to a better future of Iran and the world. Otherwise you are already rotting in your own prison and condemned for eternity.


Alamo5000 - the last thing that comes in the mind of anyone are

by hanna (not verified) on

the Bah'ais! They have never participated in these type of activities. Many are still living in Iran, and have not left. They have not hidden their identities nor their whereabouts. If this is the case let's just assume everyone in Iran can do such an act, why not randomlly pick on anyone and everyone. This is pretty dangerous!!

The group which is capable of such an act is the terrorist cult group the MEK. This is exactly their type of nasty, dirty activity. They have engaged in this type of activity before and have no calms about doing it. In fact this is their mission. They are the ones who have been supported, funded and are armed by the U.S. and the pro-Israeli groups and Israel.

Furthermore, this is what they have been lobbying for at the US Congress to get their name off of the terrorist list.

Who do you think provided all of the false information on Iran's nuclear activities to the U.S. - the MEK, NCRI, HOPI etc. Who do you think has been the mouthpiece for Israel - the MEK!! Who do you think wants to become the next leaders in Iran Maryam and Massoud Rajavi; who do you think calls themselves Iranian Gov. in exhile the MEK! They are the Ahmad Chalabis of Iran.

They are well trained and well organized for conducting these type of terrorist activities!

Go and ask Massoud Khodabandeh - he is the one who just wrote an article about the MEK and warned everyone!

Red Wine


by Red Wine on

الهي تو قبر بلرزي اي شاه اسماعيل صفوي با اين آخونديسمي كه راه انداختي.


Almost5000, I think you are almost 100% ignorant!!!

by Tahirih on

What are you talking about , since when we Bahai's were spying during the war? where the hell are you getting this garbage! and bombing the mosque??

You have no shame , may God deal with you and your likes.

it is you destroying our holly places in Iran, killing us , and even disturbing our dead. You backward , ignorant , small man.

May God , have pity on you , since you will be in hell for ever!




Were they involved in Bombings?

by almo5000 on

Otherwise why weren't they arrested in the past? In the past, during the war with Iraq when Bahais were spying for the enemy, and at other times when there would be  more public justification for their arrest they were not arrested. For example, last year when their "friends" along with Zionists and MKO members were preaching sanctions against Iran in US congress, that would have been a good time to arrest their leaders inside Iran. But they were not.  Why not? Now, there are evidence of links between US/Bristain/Zionists agents with Bahais in iran's recent mosque  bombings. Therefore, I am not surprised that the "chiefs" of bahais were arrested probably in order to determine the rest of bombing plans that they were having (including oil pipelines and public transportation). I won't cry for their arrests!  Lets them rot in jail.


I wonder if there is a more diplomatic way of handling this

by hanna (not verified) on


Personally, and people can correct me if I am wrong; but I think the more internatioanl organizations get involved as opposed to Iranians themselves (i.e. us) it has an opposite impact. When internatioanl organizations get involved IRI believes that this is another U.S. propaganda against the IRI. However, when we the people both inside and outside who are Iranian start quite diplomacy. And yes, diplomacy - we may have a better chance of over coming this issue.

We must understand the psychology of the IRI, they are paranoid, the only way to reach out is through private negotiations with the IRI starting right here with the UN mission and then reaching out to higher levels. And we have to be diplomatic - use all of the buz words that feed into their mentality; this is against Islam etc.. And for Gods sake it is!! All of this directly impacts their image, and does not look good for them at all! Furthermore, it distances all of the Iranians from the regime.