The ten Baha’i women executed in Shiraz 30 years ago

News

Kamran Rahimiyan and Foad Khanjani meet family in Evin prison (Sen’s Daily – June 19th)

Kamran Rahimiyan, a Baha’i who was serving his sentence in Raja’i Shahr Prison, was moved to Evin Prison last week and allowed to see his wife for the first time in six months. The couple, both teachers who worked at the Baha’i Open University, are serving four-year sentences. Fu’ad Khanjani, a Baha’i student serving a 4-year sentence in Raja’i Shahr Prison, was also transferred to Evin Prison to join his wiser, Leava Khanjani, who he last saw in December. Leava Khanjani has two years to serve.

Baha’i Azizi Samandari jailed in Iran receives New Zealand “Supreme Commitment Award” in Absentia (Dominion Post – June 17th)

Last week, New Zealand’s Parliament awarded Aziz Samandari, a Baha’i Iranian, with “The Supreme Commitment Award” for his commitment to higher education. However, he was unable to personally receive the award himself, as he is serving a five year sentence in Tehran’s Evin Prison, reportedly suffering from malnutrition. Samandari was arrested for participating in the 2010 Global Enterprise Experience, an international business competition at Victoria University, as a representative of the Baha’i Institute of Higher Education. He was accused of “communicating with foreigners”. His nephew, Kasem Samandari, says Aziz Samandari suffers horrific conditions at Evin Prison. “We, as his family are extremely proud of Aziz for what he has done to help innocent young Baha’i boys and girls,” his nephew said We are grateful to the New Zealand Government and Parliament for recognising his courage and distinguishing him with this honour.”

‘Sharp rise’ in Iranian Baha’i persecution must be stopped, say lawyers (IBA)

A UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, says that persecution of religious minorities — particularly Baha’is — is “sharply rising”. He said, “From the outset of my mandate, reports from members of the Baha’i in Iran have portrayed an on-going situation in which adherents of the unrecognised religion face discrimination in law and practice.” Denied entry into Iran, Shaheed had to write his report on the situation remotely. The regime denied the allegations made in his report in their response. “The claim on the increase in discrimination on the basis of religion and ethnicity, as well as discrimination and persecution of minorities, is refuted,” the regime stated, “According to the Iranian Constitution and other domestic laws, all people of Iran regardless of their religion or ethnicity enjoy equal citizenship rights.”

Opinion

Mitko Gerensky: 30 years ago in Shiraz ten Baha’i women sacrificed their lives for their Faith (June 18th)

“30 years ago I had just graduated from high school and every possibility of life was open infront of me. That was not the case for a beautiful girl only a year younger than me who, together with nine other innocent women, was executed in the historic Iranian city of Shiraz for their belief in the Baha’i Faith. Despite my ongoing interest in world affairs, in my post-graduation joy I had been unaware of that atrocious event. Today, 30 years later, the story of the martyred Baha’i women of Shiraz needs to be retold and shared widely as the fate of their coreligionists in Iran, the cradle of the Baha’i Faith, has not gotten any better over the past 30 years.”