A Conversation between a Bahai and a former member of Hojjatieh Association

by Tapesh

In this video, filmed on October 27, 2012 in The Hague, the Netherlands, IHRDC captured a conversation of truth and reconciliation between Ruhi Jahanpour -- a Bahá'í who was imprisoned for her beliefs in the Islamic Republic of Iran during the 1980s -- and Abbas Mazaheri -- a former member of the Hojjatieh Association, which Mazaheri admits perpetrated serious human rights abuses against Iran's Bahá'í community.

On the day of the film, Jahanpour was in The Hague to testify at Iran Tribunal -- a people's court set up to prosecute crimes against political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Iran's prisons in the 1980s -- and Mazaheri, who was moved to tears by Jahanpour's testimony and the memories of the abuses he and the Hojjatieh subjected Bahá'ís to, approached Jahanpour and asked for her forgiveness. The dialogue between Jahanpour and Mazaheri raises powerful questions of what it means to be a victim and victimizer and what type of conversation about responsibility and accountability is needed for societies to heal from past abuses.


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